Posted: Thursday 19 November 2009
A short time ago I had a chance to connect with our first site member- Keith Peden. Keith is a longtime client and, good friend. Back when this site was first being built Keith graciously offered his time and talents to assist my team with bug checks and trying out the new apps. When I first told Keith about the new website rebuild and how the goal was to create a community of entrepreneurs who could connect, collaborate and have a little fun online, Keith asked if I had considered all the pros and cons. Namely, had I thought about what might happen if no one signed up or if only a very small group of people decided to join the site. Of course, I hadn't considered that little detail! Which brings me to my most recent meeting with Keith. Once again, he asked how the site build was going and if I had a chance to measure any sort of success- aka- how were the numbers and could the site monetize itself in the near future? It's a common question. So much of social media measurement is really about measuring size. Our site numbers aren't big- we are not Facebook. We are not LinkedIn.
Bigger is better. Right? Maybe. My organization isn't trying to be everything to everyone- we can't- it waters down our product/service offering and confuses our picture of our "ideal client". The more people I try to please the further from my own truth I wander. The more generic my product becomes, the less it satisfies my customers.
Ultimately, there are only so many people in the world that you can make a REAL connection with- Seth Godin nails it in his Dunbar's Numbers blog- if you are not following Seth- you should!
You'll never make a real connection with the hundreds of millions of users on every social media website. As this site grows, (and it will) you may connect to less than 150 people. That's OK- We're not trying to be Facebook and you will only be able to keep up with that many connections. In fact, we have turned down many requests for membership from folks wanting to sign up and just sell you something or recruit you to their latest "get rich quick" organization. I value my time and cherish my business connections.As a busy CEO, I am ready to forgo the constant onslaught of bad advertising, poorly designed marketing and outdated online sales pitches found in so many online communities in exchange for fun, comraderie, increased knowledge and networking with my peers. I enjoy building relationships, making friends and learning about the fine art of being an entrepreneur from other entrepreneurs. If I never make a sale out of the entire process that's fine by me and this site was never designed to measure success through sales anyway. If our members enjoy their time spent, have a chance to explore new social media tools and gain new knowledge from other members then this site will be a success!
Happy Social Networking Everyone!- and post your feedback!