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Building Your Own Commercial Social Networking Site

June 02, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 185

A Commercial Social Networking Site is a business, and like any business setting it up involves a lot of thought, and a lot of effort. The technical issues are not difficult, surprisingly simple in fact, but technical issues will not determine the success or otherwise of your site as a business venture.

That will depend on the quality of thought and planning that goes into your launch.

The first stage - we shall call it Off-Page Planning doesn't involve the internet at all; they are the self-same processes that should take place before any business launch.

  1. Defining your USP - Your Unique Selling Proposition - it will define your business objectives.
  2. Create a Business Plan and Budgets
  3. Resolve your funding issues - short, medium and long term.

With those issues resolved you can move on to your Internet Planning Phase.

  1. Choose an Internet Host.
  2. Acquire a URL; the name and identity of your proposed site
  3. Select the Open Source Content Management System (CMS) for your site.

Then you can start The Site Planning Phase. Most sites have a 'tree' layout, with the 'landing page' the page on which a new visitor arrives, forming the trunk of the tree and the main headings - departments, products etc forming the main branches. The site planning phase requires you to:

  1. efine the branches - and incidentally the menu structure of the site
  2. Define a 'look' and 'feel' for your site, ie your visitor's experience
  3. Define the keywords - the Mission Statement'

It is only at this stage that we have to start work on the site itself. Here the stages seem difficult but in practice are quite straight forward:

  1. Review the two main Open Source CMS packages, Drupal and Joomla and make our choice - a choice possibly dictated by the suitability of available open source 'Themes'.
  2. Use the facilities offered by our Internet Host or manually download the open source software to our home computer and then use our FTP client to upload it to our files on our Host account
  3. Link up to the background data bases
  4. Start to set up the site proper.

As we build up the material on the site we can start to bring it to the notice of our target audience using standard Search Engine Optimisation techniques.

  1. Using keywords and the 'Long Tail' approach
  2. Cleaning up our site - removing spelling mistakes, broken links and other SEO no-nos
  3. Encouraging inward links.

The process is long, but then the process of setting up any business is complex.

Roger Webb is a retired CEO from Small and Medium Sized (SME) companies in the UK and Continental Europe. In thirty years' experience at life at the top he has been instrumental in turning around and setting up a number of specialist subsidiaries in Europe, Africa and beyond, in every case producing stable profits in some of the most testing corporate environments imaginable.

In retirement he has devoted most of his energies in developing a group of wiki sites devoted to helping others to set up eBusinesses. His current sites for new-starters and for those further along the trail are just part of those efforts.

You can read the full texts of this and 150 other pages of hard-won business experience on his sites

Source: EzineArticles
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