I was seeking for some informations on successful social network when I found this post from Robert Scoble relating part of a discussion he had with Aber Whitcomb, CTO of MySpace.
Some of the reasons which have made the success of MySpace are:
1) They made sure influentials in Hollywood (stars, bands) were among the first users.
2) They listen to their users and add features frequently (usually noticeable new features every week).
3) They let the users tell them what to do. He mentioned that other services, like Friendster, tried to tell their users what not to do.
4) When MySpace visitors first log on they already had a friend: the founder Tom. That was in contrast to other services where you had to work to find your first friend. His page also gave you a template to get started.
Definitely arguments to bare in mind if you're willing to launch your "MySpace"....
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