Are We Wasting Our Time?
We have posted a similar topic on mu.wordpress.org but, no one really gave us an answer. We have been in development of Chatterbing.com for almost a year now to create a true social networking platform. We have estimated around 5 years before the project is fully developed. Most of this time frame is due to the knowledge that we have and funding. Before we ask our simple question let me explain the whole concept behind Chatterbing.com. There are hundreds to thousands of sites on the internet that offer some type of service. What we want to do is create one site that users can use to get the same services. Below are some examples of what I mean. (Services that Chatterbing will offer)
Youtube.com – Uploading and Sharing Videos
PureVolume.com – Artist and Listeners
Facebook & Myspace – Social Networking
Sitters.com – Care Providers
I could go on and on all day but, these are just a few that chatterbing will offer. However we have been getting into some trouble with bridging wordpress with other software. So, my question is can wordpress be stable enough to do some of the above task? We have spent around three months with the wordpress and bp software. We barely have done anything to head us to our goal. I hope we’re not wasting our time with this software. If the site becomes popular than we will develop our own platform. One person said that people are doing what we’re aiming for all the time. Where is the proof. I haven’t came across one site that has been developed like we’re trying to do. Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks
No one develops a site like this, because there is no need. Your site will become bloated and usability will become close to zero, why do you think google splits its services? If you don’t need one of the services, you don’t have to.
Unless your planning on making a new google, give up on the dream of “one site that can do everything”. What you can do is make it easier for your users to intergrate their other sites (youtube, flickr, facebook, myspace, etc. etc.) into your own, that way they can use your site for all those services, and perhaps later you can try specializing in one of your subjects while still giving your users options to their farmiliar sites.
Connecting your site to the populair sites is still a growing favorite among users, and according to statistics will keep growing in 2010.
I don’t get it ? Are you:
a> trying to plug your own site and idea’s ?
b> trying to complain about the fact that WP & BP are awesome projects that are in constant flux because they are so popular ?
c> trying to share your frustration about lost time on one of YOUR idea’s ?
I really don’t understand what you are trying to say here !
Ok, we’re not going to put every service on the internet in one site. We’re going to do certain services that involve social networking. Also the services that we will be offering is going to be on different sub-domains as well on different services.
Let me give you an example:
We’re working on a service for artist and people who love music (similar to purevolume).
On our site they would be on artist.domain.com and this service would be on one server.
Another network would consist of people who are looking for sitters.
They also would be on another sub domain with it’s own server.
So, there would be no bloating. Yes and of course we would integrate other services into our site like google and yahoo. We don’t wont to be a hub for other services. I mentioned facebook and myspace just because of the apps they provide. Facebook has also a business industry that will be part of our services as well. I should have explained myself a little better. Social Networking could be more advanced then what it is today. Why join multiple sites when you could get more than one service on one site? Maybe at the most we would have 10 whole services that would hopefully attract a large group. These services would be popular among internet users. I hope this makes better sense. We just need to know what wordpress can and can’t do. If we’re wasting our time then we might as well throw out wordpress and start our own platform. That would mean deleting everything including members. Maybe I will do a survey of the 10 or so services that we want to offer and see what the public would think. Sorry for the long post.
No, I am not trying to do either of your options. I have a realistic ideal and just need some input on what wp and bp can actually do. That’s all. I love the wordpress platform for blogging. That is one reason why we choose wordpress. I just want to make sure we’re going the right route. No complaining here!
If anyone would like a detailed plan of our site then please let me know. I would be happy to post this on our sites blog.
I like the way you’re thinking (thinking BIG!) but I must say that I am also a bit confused in what you are trying to offer.. By the sounds of it you are trying to appeal to a massive userbase of totally different kinds of people.. For instance you are talking about business directories and music artist communities on the same network..
I’m affraid that you’ll need to develop a HUGE amount of stuff to keep only those two parties happy, because they both need different stuff.. You can offer them the most generic social networking functions like Videos, Groups, Blogs and profiles, but users will not use your site if they can use other social network sites which are more fully featured and totally meant for a specific userbase (Artist/Business Networking)
I’m not trying to demotivate you, I’m just saying that maybe you should try to put your goals a bit lower and try to get a community running for a certain kind of user. For instance I’m working on a social network site for people with Cystic Fibrosis (disease) and for this alone I need to tons of work making my site appealing to my targeted userbase!
Good luck with everything, and I do wish you all the best
WP and BP can do whatever you want if you have the necessary skills, enough time and/or money to pay someone.
You asked why someone would go to other sites when you could get it all from your site. The answer is because these other sites, like YouTube, do one thing and they do it very good. Plus they offer an incredible API that lets you offer their services on your own site.
These sites already have millions of users and now you’re asking these users to quit YouTube and move across to your site? Most likely not going to happen. There’s not much point at the moment in creating a general purpose social network at the moment. It’s niche networks that matter and stand a chance of success.
Just my 2 cents.
Actually that makes more sense than your first post, making multiple services and linking those together is a brilliant idea, I thought you were gonna cramp all of it in one install.
This reminds me of the tuts plus network, what they did is take multiple wordpress intalls and gave every tutorial category their own subdomain ( eg net.tutsplus.com, psd.tutsplus.com etc.). And that network is even part of a bigger network (envato).
Wether it’s possible, I’d say yes, it’s possible. Since your planning on using different servers for all of it.
Everything is possible with some inventive thinking, good programmers, good contributors, an appealing look, lots of time, huge amounts of money and 110% dedication, but that does not make it an easy job!
I am not asking anyone to quit anything or any site. However if I am going to build a social networking site that offers videos then I am going to have the same features like youtube.com. Maybe we will rethink what we want to do. I do know we have to have something new and original. We also need it to reach a large number of people for it to work!
“We have spent around three months with the wordpress and bp software. “
I’ve spent three years working with WordPressMU (before it was in beta even) and the job you’re talking about is *huge*. Like others have said.
Tip: start in phases. Pick something basic you can start with then build off that. Even the example given about with the tuts plus network, they started with one blog.
you also have to offer value, and in being different, phrases like “like youtube” don’t help.
I do realize that the project is huge that’s why we estimate at least 5 years for completion. The youtube phrase was just an example. We’re not using any phrase that is already in use.
The tuts plus network is similar of what we’re doing but, it’s going to be a little different for us! I never even heard of tuts plus network until now. I plan to browse around their sites and see what they’re about. Also I thank everyone who posted something in this forum
The best advice for creating anything on the web is to start small and iterate often.
A few quick thoughts and comments…
1. People use Facebook, YouTube etc. for one reason… volume… millions of “eyeballs” and astronomical amounts of content. It helps that they are a joy to use. Usability is paramount for user adoption.
2. Don’t lock yourself in a closet for 5 years trying to build the perfect solution and unleash it all at once. Who knows where the web will be in 5 years. That’s a lifetime in “web years”. Start small and constantly tweak and evolve.
3. You COULD use WordPress, BuddyPress… but at a certain point I would think you’d get into a square peg / round hole scenario. If you’re really trying to do something new and cool, and you have the funding, build it from the ground up… probably in either PHP of Ruby.
p.s. As for the “trying to do it all” idea and the 5 year time frame… think about Twitter. It’s an incredibly simple application. Breathtakingly simple. It does one teeny tiny little thing. It has maybe 2% of the functionality that Facebook has. But look at how it’s taken off!
We plan to release the site before the 5 years and add on as we go. We would love to build an application from the ground up but, would like to see how the site does at first. I have already started the structuring for the whole site. Just waiting to see how things go. Thanks for your input.
P.S. It will be built on php!
At the risk of being too negative, some of your statements don’t make sense to me and some seem purposefully (or naively) vague. If you’ve been at WP and BP for 3months now, then logic would dictate that you should be familiar enough with the 2 that you’d be able to answer your questions about their capabilities.
If you’re convinced you are onto some new idea of what people want in a new collection of networks, then you will get much better feedback if you added some detail/clarity in your request. So far, imho, the reason you are getting these nebulous opinions is because your request sounds more like “I wanna build this new car that no one has built, any ideas?”
WP/BP are ready for you to launch your project now. Do some styling and you’re off and running. See if that demand is really out there. Good luck.
I think a lot of people are misunderstanding what I was asking. I am impressed with the two software but, we’re looking into the coding part not just the functionality of the software. I have used the wordpress software out of the box before. I have never tried to mess with the guts until now. That’s why I posted a few examples of what we were trying to do with the software. I am trying to get an idea of how much the coding could be changed without breaking and then becoming unusable to members. Bp out of the box is really generic and why create just another generic site? Just trying to change the code so it works for us. When I have changed some coding the site breaks and I get some errors. And no I am not asking how to do it.
Why change the code? Look into hooking into the main program and changing it via plugins. If you hack the core, you eventually won’t be able to keep up and you’ll wind up with your own custom version anyway.
It might be best for your long term plans to talk to a developer, see how feasible your first-stage ideas are and go from there. No point in trying to do all these things if, like Mike said above, you’re trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.
If you want to go with WP + BP I would seriously just invest time in a small test setup. Get comfortable with the coding practices. Make a small purposeful plugin from scratch. Learn what makes wp different from wpmu. Anticipate change in software, lots and often, so don’t build on current solution, but look at the roadmap of both wpmu and bp.
Consider that wp 3 is slated to be a media release and I would think it is moving more and more to cms. Waiting on that to mature would possibly be a wise decision. That doesn’t mean you should not start. Just start with what is relevant and mature now.
Consider also if wp and bp are scalable enough. You might want to look at more powerful cms like Drupal. Drupal has a steep and painful learning curve, but it is incredibly scalable and would go the distance in what you are looking for. I don’t use Drupal myself anymore, for the reason that developing for it is slow. However, it might be a better fit.
Also you have to consider that your idea totally tanks, put yourself in the shoes of a critical viewer and bash the heck out of your own idea. Write it down, take it serious and find solutions for it. The fact is, that it is not a new idea, it just hasn’t been done for a good reason. Find that reason and argue it.
if your whole energy is actually drawn by writing your website’s goals, like indicated in your OP, i can answer your topic title… yes you waste your time.
youtube was written in 2 months and the goal was not to become the dedicated site for videos, but to share some vacation clips… for friends. the power of that site is not the design, nor the code or the ideas, but the spreading of the idea… someone thought it was greater than the first goal…
so even if you have great goals, forget about it… if you do not start your site, if you do not let the visitors make an idea of your site, if you do not let the visitors take your site and make it theirs, sorry but you loose your time.
having a site is not having a software development… Andy here is dealing with a project, not a target… he have no target, he want to go way beyond… a website is different… if you do not start, you can’t reach your goal… if you have only one goal, you will not reach it if the site is a service, because the members are to change the path of your project from day one…
so the best advice, everybody said it… open your site, build it piece by piece, listen to your clients/members… that’s it… stop writing for 5 years to come, because in 5 years, facebook and youtube will be dead, the story will be different
Ok, I would like to say that I appreciate everyone’s post to this topic. The site is open and anyone can join as of now. It’s live and I never really said I was going to sit around for five years. A lot of people are getting that idea. I think one person actually got the idea that I am trying to do.
Drupal is a good software but, slow for development just like you had said. That’s a good reason why we didn’t use that software.
I don’t think we’re going to fork it.
Yes, we would have our own custom code and maybe a whole new platform. That wouldn’t be a bad thing. At least I wouldn’t think so. I would love to talk to another developer and see what they thought. I have a few in my contacts maybe I’ll give them e-mail and see what they think.
Everyone here as actually looked at the idea not the possibility. I just wanted to know if wp and bp could handle a service like this? I am thinking about wordpress.com and how many users they might be running. If it’s in the thousands than good. We can at least learn where the faults might be(if any) that might be preventing them from growing. The whole idea in a nutshell is to have a social networking site that anyone can join and use. Of course we wouldn’t want to be bloated and non-usable.
P.S.- No I am not trying to sound harsh, mean, or any other unkind word that someone may think of. Just tired and cranky from a long day:)
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