Hard To Start A New Social Site
I like the idea but with giants like FB and Twitter it seems harder and harder to pull people away to other social communities even if the other communities have similar functions and features. I just started a new social artist community site about three weeks ago: artistmatch.net and have a few members that I've been able to get from advertising on FB. Some have come back to interact but most have not returned, some have only joined to post a link back to FB
It's not easy keeping members loyal and coming back even if you have something good to offer, I guess I'll keep trying.... maybe your idea will help some! Any support or feedback is much appreciated
(Mod Note: Moved from http://www.webproworld.com/webmaster...al-Media-Sites to allow discussion.)
Last edited by mjtaylor; 12-15-2010 at 11:37 AM.
As one of the afflicted I'd point out that there's rather a lot of places for artists to interact with other artists online already (things that have the prospect of interaction with potential clients are more interesting IMO....). Though Saatchi Online is quite interesting in what it's trying to do, as it's now added a load of facebook type functionality, but it has also got the big 'gimmick' of the showdown competition to get people coming back and looking.
Originally Posted by bartet
(have decided I haven't got the patience / am not friendly enough, to do social networking, even if it might help sales/traffic)
I agree, there are already some very well established artist networking sites. Breaking into that is going to nearly impossible unless you pick a very tight niche and then provide things that can't be found anywhere else. Etsy comes to mind as a place that did that.
From a branding standpoint you're completely lacking. You can't just put a text logo at the top and expect it to fly. Same with the layout. Looks like a bad Facebook knockoff.
There is just no way to make it without a strong brand backed by strong value.
Even the dot net suffix is working against you.
Don't mean to rag on your project but you did ask and I think you need an honest answer instead of the "looks ok, good luck" comments one usually gets.
The above posts are right on. By definition, "social" media sites are places were people want to interact with other people. A new site doesn't have the "other people" yet, thus they start in the hole. To try to dig out, consider focusing on a smaller niche - one that isn't yet being served by other social media. Then, perhaps you'll be able to slowly expand your focus to a wider niche, if that's the direction you decide to take.
Your site has to offer a benefit that outweighs the users' time/effort investment and that benefit must be significantly greater than other sites offer. There's no way you can do that without narrowing your niche.
Bartet, I feel your pain. I've spent the past year building a development team for a social media site as well, earthsports.com. It is intended to bring anglers, guides, tournaments, marinas and manufacturers together in one community. Our membership is growing, but no where near the rate we had originally hoped. We've received a number of facebook members, but they don't seem to be too active. We do have some very active people though, so i think it just takes time. I've had a graphic design firm doing print and web for over 8 years now, and agree with Claybutlers point about your site needing a real logo. Otherwise, I think you are headed in the right direction. Great insight by compusolver as well. I would be appreciative of any insight (design , functional or marketing related) good or bad. Good luck with your site and thanks in advance to anyone else who chooses to post in!
Last edited by Gadget1969; 12-17-2010 at 04:00 PM.
I think social networking sites are the new forums. They will be very niche specific and there will be room for a few players in each category. The real question is what is the best way to seed a social network? It seems like a new site with traffic will get members but they dont really do much after signing up.
@Gadget - the forum posts on earthsports.com don't seem to appear in google (I tried some "quoted" phrases going back to Sept inc "carolina coastal tributary and surf fly fishing" in saltwater fly fishing) not sure if you've deliberately blocked it or if that is result of the 'Do you want to Join' screen coming up as first option...
would suggest that unless you had a reason to hide the content (some more political forums do to avoid acquiring trolls) ... that it'd be better to try to ensure forum posts are indexed - then if they come up on search for query about 'kayaks versus boats' or whatever people may join forum to enter discussion.
unreasonably high expectations
the original poster said that his site's been up for 3 weeks... by internet's standards it's like saying 3 days. it takes a long time before search engines even notice that your site exists. when you start a new web venture you need to arm yourself with patience. have a focus and work hard. I don't believe that it's harder today than it was yesterday. if friendster, myspace, facebook were in that frame of mind they wouldn't have reached the peaks that they may have had at some point. not everybody is a facebook fan. facebook is gonna slow down. people are gonna start suffering from facebook fatigue. so you can narrow your focus and stay the course. if it will take 2 years be prepared. good luck!
Claybutler, thank you for your honest point of view. As far as the branding goes, I have that covered... I just recently changed the theme of the site to brighter colors since they were originally dark colors and made the site look like an underground site so I and haven't had the chance to place my logo on the site yet. As far as what you said about the logo "You can't just put a text logo at the top and expect it to fly" ... well, Facebook did so I'm not sure what to make of what you said. Concerning the dot net. I don't see why that would work against me when there's many successful sites with the dot net suffix. I think you have good points but not all. Thank you for your post!
Thank you Gadget, I appreciate your post... BTW, I do have a logo but I haven't had a chance to put it up yet.
Good luck with your site!
Compusolver, thanks for your post... I will keep your advice in mind.
Thank you Soulcis, I'm not trying to get only comments that say keep it up everything will work out but I believe in what you wrote. I also think with hard work, dedication, a good niche and time, there could be a chance, not only for me but for anyone else to be successful on the web. I'll just have to keep fine tuning my site and find a good niche to keep members coming back. Thank you for your post.
Last edited by mjtaylor; 12-18-2010 at 06:31 PM.
Reason: All OP in a row
Facebook actually has a well thought out logotype. It's not just HTML text like yours. Plus Facebook was nearly the first serious platform for college students to socialize. That's a huge advantage. You're entering a very crowed market with big players. Also, I challenge you to find all the big dot nets. You won't find them. The reason a dot net is a problem is that it's a dot com world and always will be. Browsers default to dot coms. Everyone assumes a dot com unless you tell them otherwise. It also means that someone else owns the dot com version which means they could choose to weaken your brand very easily. Imagine if FaceBook or MySpace only owned the dot net version and some squatter owned the dot com version. What pain in the ass that would be. Branding is much more than changing colors and adding a logo. It's the entire package from your brand story, to your tagline, to the entire world and vernacular you create. When I'm at your site there is nothing that explains your value position, your differentiator, your secret sauce. Nothing in the words you use or how your user interface is organized tells me anything other than it's some kind of template you installed. Now granted, these things evolve over time, but you should start out with something. Did you write an executive summary yet? Do you have your elevator pitch? A flow chart? Even if you aren't seeking VC money these are very useful for establishing your vision and honing down your idea which is the foundation of a brand. I've done done this with my own start up as well as many others and you really need a clear mission statement. I should know right away when I go to your site that yes, this is clearly for me, or no, this is not for me. I just don't see that yet. Without that I think you will plateau early and then start a decline.
Originally Posted by bartet