NMK 2007: Jaiku's five principles for building Web 2.0 success

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jyri.jpgThere’s been a helluva buzz around Twitter in recent months, but coming up strongly is rival firm Jaiku, which has taken the principle of micro-blogging and stuck a rocket up its backside. That’s a technical term, obviously…

Jaiku’s Jyri Engeström gave a keynote presentation at today’s NMK Forum 07, and set out his five principles to building a great Web 2.0 service, revolving around the idea of ‘social objects’. Read on for the full skinny on how to make yourself an e-millionnaire (probably).

Number 1: Define your object
How quickly can you tell what a website is about? That’s its ‘focal object’. So, for example, when you go to Flickr, you know exactly what the site is for, and why you might want to use it. And no, I don’t think ‘My object is to sell my site to Google for megabucks’ counts as a well-defined focal object.

Number 2: Define your verbs
Jyri cited eBay as one of the best examples of a Web 2.0 site that does a good job of defining its verbs, because it has ‘Buy’ and ‘Sell’ prominently placed on the homepage. However, he also cited ‘Add a Dog’ on Dogster, and ‘Silent Sell Your Home’ on a Swedish house-sale site.

Number 3: Make your object shareable
According to Jyri, this is all about having permalinks, thumbnails, widgets and other Web 2.0 malarkey – basically making it easy for users to share the content of your site with their friends or other users, which will then drive more growth.

Number 4: Turn invitations into gifts
According to Jyri, letting people invite their friends to join your site isn’t enough. You have to give them a valuable gift that they can pass on to people they love (blee!). He cited the example of PayPal, which gave $10 to every new PayPal subscriber, and also Skype, which gave out an extra headset with every headset you bought. But these gifts don’t have to cost much – a YouTube video that brings a smile to your friends’ faces is often reward enough. Unless they’re particularly mercenary friends, of course.

Number 5: Charge the publishers, not the spectators
Charging people to use a site often falls flat on its face, so while you can charge users for extra features, make sure there’s enough free stuff to have fun with first. Jyri’s example was isometric community Habbo Hotel, which tried charging a monthly subscription fee, which didn’t work, and then shifted to a free model with people paying to furnish their Habbo space. Result: plenty of people stumping up cash.

So there you have it. Go forth and make fortunes! Or at least make something more imaginative than yet another YouTube knock-off.

NMK Forum 07 website

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NMK 2007: Jason Calacanis’ Mahalo Greenhouse will pay YOU for writing search results
NMK 2007: VC on Web 2.0: “Build the traffic, THEN worry about the revenue…”

Stuart Dredge

2 comments

  • Unfortunately these five recommendations are not enough for building successful Web 2.0 services. These are sort of “must have” recommendations but it takes a lot more.

    By the way, ‘My object is to sell my site to Google for megabucks’ is not that bad goal at all. Maybe it’s not a good focal objective for a website user, but for the owner it’s a pretty good goal. Every business idea should have some sort of “exit strategy” and to be acquired by a large company does make sense.

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