We have been thinking of doing a Social Networking Experiment for quite a while. What we had in our mind was to test the concept of Niche Oriented Social Networks and to determine its feasibility based on various factors like interest, traffic, revenue and popularity. In this regard, we launched TrekShare 2.0 – a social network dedicated to Travelers and the Travel Community (more details later in this post). Trekshare 2.0 created waves in the travel community considering its unique features and dedicated niche audience. As a result, the network quickly rose to popularity with currently almost 10,000 members on board. And it’s still in Beta!
So, I was wondering if we should pursue another niche oriented social network. This time, I wanted to get a first hand opinion of what industry experts and networkers thought of such an idea. And what better place for asking a social networking question other than a social network itself? So, I posted this question on Linkedin:
“… a new area of research has emerged which emphasizes on Social Networking for a particular Niche. For example SN for Bikers, Travelers, Animal Lovers, etc where the entire platform is completely dedicated only to the users of that niche only.
I am considering the prospect of developing a social networking platform specially dedicated to bikers. I want to know your opinions about its feasibility. Do you think it would be a nice business idea to experiment with? …”
And whoa I had 7 bubbling responses in a matter of 2 days! We had some really nice points made by people having their own place in the industry. For Example, Edward had to say about product promotion that:
“Being a niche market it is likely to attract a good number of niche visitors if promoted properly. However, the same reason may backfire and if not promoted properly your website will have problems in finding visitors.”
Raluca V made a similar but interesting observation. She wrote:
“Another aspect that I think is to be taken into consideration (a potential threat) is how many similar platforms already exist and how well known and expanded they are. If there is an (or more than one) already well-known established SN platform, the persons in the target group may be reluctant to subscribing to a new one. Because 1. they would have to go all over the registration process and profile making again and 2. they would be in contact with fewer persons in a brand new SN platform.“
Some people were quick to point out that with the advent of social networking platforms like ning.com – which basically serves the same purpose, there is no separate need for creating a separate network. My take on this is that its a matter of perception. Some people find ready-made garments suiting them better, while some prefer tailor-made. There are some for whom ready-made is sometimes not even an option. So, I think our inititative of creating a dedicated niche network worked and is reaping expected results because there is a need for good networks on the web.
To sum it up, I got some great inputs from these answers which would definitely help my analysis team at Galaxy Web Links Ltd when they meet next time to discuss our new venture.
Have a great week ahead!