Monday, October 16, 2006 - Social networking: The science

"First, a social media site must have a clear purpose. Coppel pointed to Flickr as an example. 'The founders were passionate about allowing people who are passionate about photography to share their photos with others. There was great purity of purpose and they supported that purpose with actions,' he said.
Second, Yahoo! looks for founders who are deeply involved in shaping the Web site. The founders might be active participants on the message board, blogging about the service or stamping out activity on the site they don't approve. The key is for them to actively ensure that the community stays true to the message that the founders set out to create in the first place, Coppel said.
Third, Yahoo! looks for sites that make it easy for users to participate and share. This could manifest itself through users posting on the site or tagging material in order to make it easier for others to find it. 'Allowing that viral activity and participation to take place is critical,' he said. Sites should enable users to discover content that's relevant to them, either through a slick user interface, a powerful search engine, product reviews or tagging. "

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