9 Ways to Take Your Site from One to One Million Users

kevin rose

Kevin Rose is the founder and chief architect of digg. He oversees all aspects of the management and development of the Web site. Kevin started digg in September 2004 as a personal project. His initial idea was to conduct a social experiment in how masses of users could control and promote news and other content on the Web, without external editorial control. After a very short time, he realized the power of his idea, as digg was becoming a resource for breaking news stories and developed a strong user following. Kevin is also a co-founder of the Internet Television Network Revision3 where as a member of the board he provides strategic direction to the company. — from carsonified.com

In this video from The Future of Web Apps London (FOWA), Kevin Rose, founder of Digg, WeFollow and Revision3, shares 9 things he did to increase his users to 1,000,000 and beyond.

Here’s a quick bullet-point summary. You can watch the video, view the presentation slides or download the audio.

If you enjoy this article, you’ll love The Future of Web Apps Miami. Speakers include: Twitter, Mint.com, Gary Vaynerchuk, jQuery, Reddit and more. Buy your ticket now.

1. Ego

  1. Ask yourself: Does this feature increase the users self-worth or stoke the ego?
  2. If a user is contributing to my system, what emotional rewards do they walk away with? What (visible) rewards will they receive?

2. Simplicity

  1. Stop over building features
  2. Pick 2-3 things to focus on
  3. Ask yourself: Is there anything I can take out of this feature?

3. Build & Release

  1. Stop thinking you understand your users
  2. Learn from what they’re actually doing on your site, not what you think they’ll do
  3. Decide on what you’re going to build… and build it (avoid analysis paralysis)
  4. Build, release, iterate, and repeat

4. Hack The Press

  1. Invite only system (Pownce, Digg v3)
  2. Talk to the junior bloggers
  3. Attend parties for events you can’t afford – network w/influencers, bring a demo

5. Connect with your community

  1. Start a podcast (it’s OK if not everyone listens)
  2. Throw a launch party, then yearly/quarterly  events – invite the press/influencers personally – don’t tell the bar
  3. Engage w/the community, be an active participant your own ecosystem

6. Advisors

  1. What technical problems are you going to have?
  2. Advisors can be helpful in a whole slew of areas (marketing/hiring/bizdev)
  3. Stock compensation, typically not a board seat, solid advisors help during fund raising

7. Leverage your userbase to spread the word

8. Does your product provide value for 3rd party sites?

9. Analyze your traffic

  1. Install Google analytics
  2. Entrance sources (search?)
  3. Paths through site
  4. Top exit pages

Taking your Site from One to One Million Users by Kevin Rose from Carsonified on Vimeo.

Content/Photo Credit goes to carsonified.com & readthesmiths

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