How have you all found as far as ways to keep people interested in communities that are not FACEBOOK? Any ideas? I've got lurkers and a small handful of members ... I run a board on entertainment forms and I just can't seem to get people to discuss things... but these same people are talking it up on FACEBOOK every day...
You have to give them a reason to join your site even when social networking biggies like Facebook and Twitter exist, they should join your site for their own need.
Proving all the possible features that Elgg has to offer does little to get people on board. There has to be something unique. Something that no one else has got. That you yourself have to figure out.
FkKids.com, the largest elgg-based site has about 2 lakh members and a lot of activity. SocioTime.com these days is getting popular.
There is no specific answer. Just convince yourself to join your own site apart from the logic that you created it, and you'll eventually get the kind of people you want.
i may not be IT savvy, but im good with business. here are some tips i can think of off the top of my head. biggest one: NARROW THE FOCUS OF YOUR SITE/DISCUSSION! fb is all-encompassing and they have an ENORMOUS chunk of the social networking market, but competition can be formed by narrowing the focus of your site to possibly just one interest (a social network about horse riding, a social network about real estate investment, etc), locale (a social network dedicated to being an online community for one state, city, region, etc), age group (a social networking site dedicated to people under the age of 18), or race (a social network dedicated to african-amercian participants). any demographic will do, music preference, religion, blah blah blah. doing this also allows you to focus your advertising, and the advertisement space that you sell for your site. suggestion #2: once youve narrowed your focus, dont just sit behind a computer and hope everything works out! pound the pavement! make up a logo, business cards, flyers. find out where the people in your market niche are hanging out and get your advertising media out there. are there any shops or stores in your area that will let you put your business cards on the counter? is there any journal or publication in your market niche that would like to feature your site? its ok if your site is small but growing. its not ok if your site is small and stagnant. the only difference between facebook and you is their ability to build a brand name. look at coca-cola. they own around $500million in physical assets (manufacturing plants, shelved product, vehicles, etc). the name "coca-cola" is worth in upwards of $2billion dollars. their brand name is worth more than everything they own. suggestion #3: ok youve made your site and you dont need IT pros to help you. but a good idea is worth nothing without business acumen behind it. either start reading books about building businesses and the different facets of it, or get someone involved who already knows that stuff. most of all, CREATE A BUSINESS PLAN. in doing a little market research, you will find out just how feasible your idea really is. i hope this was helpful :)
That's really tough. You need a business plan and a marketing plan. Even though you have one, that doesn't mean it will work at first.
'What is left to do?' That's a question you must ask yourself. A network for gamers? A network for start-ups? A network for Angel investors?? A Network for picture sharing? for video sharing? You need to find your field.
Getting members is the first step, but then you have to keep them. Look at Google+ it has the members but my G+ stream is empty. No one is there, even though Obama was there for a google Hang out.
Arvixe/Elgg Community Liaison
oh and i forgot one other super-important thing that i learned first-hand....unless you have apps for your site (at least droid and iphone), then your site is dead. i have a fb group of a little over 300 ppl and they cried for a real site to be developed, so i tried one of those prefab sites. there were two huge problems. 1: it was an outdated group-blogging style (much like the default elgg discussion style) which aggravated users who were used to the more modern and sleek discussion styles of facebook and myspace and refused to go back to the stone-age way of doing things. and most importantly 2: the site was not app friendly. out of my 300 users, it turned out that less than 5 of them were accessing their social networking from home computers and laptops! it was a HUGE lesson for me...which is the sole reason why im here now, trying to figure out how to get my elgg site to act right :) to make apps for droid and iphone, you will need developer licenses, which cost around $100 each, but without an app, i really dont see a way of making your social site accessible in the modern internet world, unless maybe you have a social site dedicated to talking about coding, site development, or some other topic that people traditionally use their computers for. i bought a new laptop last year, and i imagine it is the final laptop i will ever buy for personal use. in a few years, all personal computing uses outside of coding, development, graphic design, and server stuff will be much better achieved on our smartphones.
dhrup, perhaps youve had a different experience than i have? what is your site about? how often would you say your average user accesses your site? what is your goal as for the frequency you would like your users to access your site by next year? by my group research, less than 2% of my users are interacting with my site via computers. what are some steps that you have taken to overcome the fact that people who access social networking sites (especially people who access the sites every day) have increased by more than half-again in the last year and the people who access social sites via phone app have more than doubled, increasing by a staggering 128% in the last year? http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2011/10/Social_Networking_On-The-Go_U.S._Mobile_Social_Media_Audience_Grows_37_Percent_in_the_Past_Year
what are some of the tips you would share or methods you would advise on this subject?
There are no shortcuts
@PcPotatZ - LOLZ ;-P Agreements and Disagreements ! -- 'increase coding ability' ? A definite yes.
'Trying to get on my level' ? That sounds like an über-statement lolzies ;-oO Mainly because you have no idea where (4'6"?) I am coming from w.r.t to elgg api's , php, etc, etc. Heck! You don't even know if perhaps I am still only 20's something old and therefore still quite a greeny with all this 'programming stuffs' ! Still - I wrote my first program when I was 19 yrs ;-P
PHP can be learnt wit not so much difficulty from http://www.php.net/manual/en/ w3schools and others like TigZag - Which have very good tutorials and examples for almost one can think regarding php. the MySQL docs pages are also very for learning.. Just be prepared to not ask too simple questions - sometimes people will tell you to RTFM ('read the fck manual') - the age-old standard & hackneyed response if the answer can be found by a simple browse of the relevant reference manuals. Anyways - cheers and happy learning - remember - sweat + sweat + luck = success !
I am working on this as I am getting an ASUS MEMO in this year's 2nd qtr and I plan to tailor my site to the mobile fringe... until then my site is focused on ENTERTAINMENT forms... it's all about movies, music and gaming with a light touch on sports.. and reading... mainly movies, music and gaming. So should this get even further narrowed?
in my opinion, music, movies, gaming, and sports have big enough niches all by themselves to devote a prosperous site to. narrowing your focus to just one of them couldnt hurt. but be sure to make a business plan. you can get some great business help from retired successful executives at the S.C.O.R.E. website, and they probably have a chapter in or close to your local community...but the first thing they will tell you is to make a business plan. if you have never made on before, you can see samples at the SBA site, and i recommend Streetwise's business planning book. it kind of has a "mad libs" approach to it so that you dont have to spend so much time worrying about the verbiage and just fill in the blanks with your pertinent information :) sounds like you are off to a great start tho! keep pushing forward!
btw, I very much liked what creator of Zynga once said. Someone asked him wether he is happy with his path to success. He answered that if he had to start from beginning, he would rather quickly create a lot of simple websites and stick with the one that would work. I believe this is a very good strategy, which is also very in line with philosophy of Elgg's architecture (make development simple and quick - and thus cheap).
On the other hand, I think knowledge is important. Three years ago I had an idea to create a website which had to work like kickstarter. I didn't go with this idea as I judged I didn't have enought business experience. Right now, after kickstarter got successfull (and before kickstarter, there was fundable), I still didn't change my mind. My "kickstarter" business probably wouldn't be such a success, even if I created better website than kickstarter. It's important to be prepared, idea will come in time - they always do, it's the simpliest part :)
I think that when you start coding, you should already have full knowledge to your path to success and path to failure. What will you do when you gain hundrets thousands of users in a single month? What if you won't be so successfull? (maybe reuse your idea and code for another website). You should get knowledge about everything - or have in reserve someone who can give you knowledget when it's needed - but start coding only when your idea is complete. If your first idea fails, quickly move to another one. Anticipate for two or three failures and with your fourth project you will likely have enought experience to make it work.
Development work costs. Thinking doesn't :)
I have an elgg site with narrow focus: Forex trading and speculative opportunities.
It is quite small (220 users) but we are a little community. So as it exists for 6 months now I think I have just a little experience I can share.
First elgg is great. Elgg is helping me to focus on the content creating and development, where the real job is.
For programming, well I think that this is the job for coders, nobody can know everything.
To create a site is one thing, to develop a community is totally different thing.
A friend of mine who is a succesfull forum owner told me.
1. You need to gather a community of 6-8 people who are active. After an year you would see the results.
2. If you do not write for a week your little community will be gone.
3. You need to make a SEO optimization: think mainly link building and content creating
My opinion for facebook is strongly positive. I think that we are in multinetwork world, elgg does notreplace facebook it complements it. A world of multiple nested social networsk (that is why facebook sharing and facebook comments are critical for me).
As for me on the contrary fb is great, because it is a place where you can popularize the elgg site and get members. For example you cannot develop real projects on fb, with file sharing etc, that is what my elgg site does.
So I am showing with a link on fb what is offered for free, but this requires registration and the people come, register and start to ask questions etc.