Got the next big idea?
Do you imagineer a a nebulous “social networking” site catered to a niche audience? Before you rebuild the wheel, take a step back.
The tools and frameworks now exist to build a robust social network on a common-sense startup budget (unlike the millions invested in the early networks). However, just because the tools exist, doesn’t mean it’s right to use them.
The most beautiful, robust social networking site ever made fails without users.
At the end of the day, successful social networking relies more on people using the network than the design or functionality. An active, thriving userbase literally provides the value to a social network.
Can you leverage existing social networks and find a unique way to embrace them into the fold of your work?
What will your new social network do that Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus don’t already do?
Who will use your site, and how will they find out about it? Do you have a marketing budget?
What will convince users to use your site instead of finding like-minded folks on existing networks?
Use Facebook Connect and sharing buttons such as ‘like,’ ‘tweet’ and ‘plus’ to share your content with your users’ networks. The effect can be exponential!
Integrate Facebook accounts into your chat & discussion boards
Use an embedded twitter feed to keep your content fresh and encourage twitter mentions