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Saturday, January 19, 2008

How many members is enough members

What a sad chap I must be to keep track of the numbers of members of 50-plus social networking Web sites.

I wrote about TeeBeeDee a few days ago. Clearly a very smart lady who started the site but it ‘only’ has 16,000 members. Sagazone, the UK’s highest profile site now has 30,507, which means it's adding them at the rate of about 100 new a day. Both these observations were made on the 13th Jan.

Compared with the big generic sites these numbers are paltry, the equivalent to petty-cash.

So how many members is enough to make a site self sustaining? What sort of attrition rate would you expect? Are these sites actually keeping pace with the rate at which members lose interest and stop logging-in? I know there are no absolute answers. Anybody like to add their two pennies’ worth? Dick Stroud

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The socical networking thing, and especially re the over 50s market, strikes me as smoke smoke and the odd glimpse of a mirror. This group is much sought after through these platforms because of the almost mythical power it commands and will continue to acquire with time. I don't know that anyone has really figured out how that makes money - which is one way of translating 'sustainable' - none of these sites are being set up to be sustainable, they are being set up to make money or be sold to make money. Non?

What makes an online community self sustaining is a different question dependent on the activity and creativity of its common and individual assets. That's why I think 'single' or 'defined issue' social networking sites will be the ones which ultimately sustain themselves: who wants to go to on place for everything, online or offline, monoculture is boring.

BTW Dick, your book is excellent, a really very thought-provoking and also slightly alarming work. And this blog is v interesting too.