I built my startup as a side-project. In short, it is a social aggregator that I find way better than anything else on the market, and therefore I'm very actively using it. From my experience as a social network power-user it is good, so let's assume there will be other social network power users that would like it as well. What I've done so far:
So far I've got around 400 signups, around 15 relatively active users. I've been improving the service since I released it as a "field trial" 6 months ago, so that now I consider it useful for the "general public". But what to do next in order to get more attention. A few things I plan to do:
What particular steps do you recommend that I should do next in order to get more exposure and better validation?
Just my personal opinion:
This is a good concept, I think it just needs more guidance for the user to fully integrate them from just signed up to avid user.
I don't really get "social media" and feel like that market is flooded like a tsunami, but I do like the design of the site. It is simple, elegant, easy to navigate and straight to the point. Nothing looks crowded and you left ample room on the left and right sides, possibly for new features or ad space when you decide to monetize. You could probably try to use a little more vertical space for those of us with high monitor resolutions however.
The biggest problem and one that I see others have brought up already is that I am still not completely sure about what the site provides as a service. You need more literature for curious people to find out about each of your services. Perhaps make the icons on the bottom of the page a link to a more detailed description or screenshots. The social reputation idea is intriguing.
What particular steps do you recommend that I should do next in order
to get more exposure and better validation?
Don't be in a hurry to be an overnight success. That will come in due time. In the meantime, polish your app, interact with the online communities that use such tools--make yourself a valued member of their community.