How should I start building a social network site?


Early I asked a question about starting a social network company. Thanks for people who answered my question.

I learned that I might implement the ideas first then start a company.

But how exactly should I implement the ideas from the very beginning? Should I make a plan first? Since I don't know how to program. I need to find a technical co-founder, but what kind of technical guy should I choose to work with?

If I found one who can work with me then what's the next step? What does it take to make a great social network site?

I know it's no easy to do that. But I believe a great company can be started with simple ideas and simple things to do. Like facebook was by Mark alone coded for few weeks at very beginning.

So a good start is very important for me. I want to hear you guys' ideas for how to take the very first step!

Market Analysis Social Network Market Opportunity Market Research

asked Jun 2 '11 at 16:25
Yc Wang
19 points

3 Answers


The key here is that you have the ideas... you're right - simple ideas can form the foundation for great companies, but what worries me here is that you then ask:

What does it take to make a great social network site?

If you don't know the answer to that question, or don't have a vision of a product that will draw in the crowds, then you need to come up with that. You won't get the answers here I'm afraid.

Instead of trying to form a company, can you hire a web developer to prototype your ideas so you have something to showcase your concept? If you struggle to come up with a prototype having hired a contract developer for a couple of months, then it's time to re-assess whether this is what you want to do.

If your motivation is based on wanting to setup "a social networking website"... but with no concrete (or even vague) idea of what that website might be, sorry, but I don't think this is going to work. Nobody is going to tell you how to come up with the next killer social app.

answered Jun 2 '11 at 20:47
2,333 points


I think its unrealistic to compare any social networking site to Facebook. FB served a need that nobody realized was there. Mark Zuckerberg capitalized on it. He's said in an interview once that 8-10 weeks into FB he seriously considered moving to the next project.

This wasn't his first project, rather the first that really took off. The key is to keep at it. When it comes to social networks, if you build it - nobody cares. A couple years ago a few friends and I undertook the same challenge, to create a social network that kept people returning. To say it was difficult is an understatement. Marketing and driving traffic gets exponentially harder the fewer funds you have allocated towards it. If you're bootstrapping, be prepared for many setbacks.

I'm not saying it isn't possible, just difficult. It only stands to reason that FB will fall one day and another shall take its place. Where you may have a much higher degree of success is with niche markets. If your social network is catered to a niche market, interest level and participation drastically increases.

I think your first step is to map everything out. If you're serious about this, you may consider:

1) Do the market research - You need to know what you're getting into. If you don't know your market, any direction you take will be a roll of the dice.

2) Create a business plan - Some may disagree with me here since a business plan is sometimes seen as a formality. However, if done correctly, your business plan is your map and will always keep you on the right track. Your business plan should be revisited often and revised accordingly. 3) Create a marketing plan - Marketing will be your X factor. It will either make or break your social networking site.

Good luck with your site!

answered Jun 2 '11 at 22:47
509 points


  • Build a Business Plan
Its the 1st stage in creating any venture that makes you realise specific things about the idea and allows you to see alot of Pros and Cons, without a Business Plan you can't even begin to comprehend, let alone layout your thoughts in the correct direction.

  • Research
Is the biggest part of creating your Business Plan

  • Hire or DIY
In todays age we see many software programmes that anyone can use to build a Social Network.

Social Engine - to name a few depending on your needs some offer more and others offer less. No developer skills needed just the time and persaverence.

Here is a small list of companies that host Online Social network builders One of the best I have found (using atm) is

Socialgo followed by
Groupz- with many more out there that offer less than the ones mentioned

I like Socialgo due to its user friendliness, scaling, and great features. If you have no exp at it give it a whirl. There is a free trial but choose the Premium. It'll cost you $24.99 p/m (Premium still is a free trial and costs $24 if you go over the 1 month trial period but make sure you opt out prior to the end date and you will pay nothing, you can also take the add ons they are at no cost as long as you opt out near the end date)

Socialgo at its best is getting better with their Version 2 due at the end of July (can't wait)

Good luck

answered Jun 14 '11 at 11:24
Jodi Von Oettingen
11 points

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