It sounds like you’re talking about a consumer site and you’re not
about spending money on marketing. If that’s the case you need to do it
Think of it like your app is a virus - two things determine how fast a
spreads - the first is how good it is at spreading from person to person
the second is the nature of the community it’s spreading in. If you’re
modeling a real virus you would look at two numbers - if you’re exposed
you get infected (keep coming back to the site) and how many people does
each person expose the virus to. You need to understand if people who
your site actually come back and will they tell other people about it -
why (or why not).
The last part is key. If you get 10 people to use it and they all yawn
don’t tell anyone, your done unless you can figure out why and fix it.
thing to look at - though not necessarily the first - is how well your
spreads itself - are their links to email content to other people for
Assuming you solve that problem, you have to understand the network
of the community you’re trying to reach. Where do they hang out on the
what mailing lists, blogs, forums, news sites (slashdot/digg/etc) do
use. You need to focus your efforts on the key sites and key people. I
know a guy who did a book review on slashdot, with a link to his home
and he got thousands of hits from it.
Last thing, even if you’re trying to reach everybody - ala myspace - you
should probably start by picking a subset of that community to focus on
initially. Metcalfs law says the value of a network increases
with the number of users, but not all users are equally interesting to
others. A site with a hundred teenage girl members is much more
to teenage girls than one with 100 people of all types.
hope that helps