How not to launch a Web 2.0 site

Digg | In Portugese

Your new website is ready to launch. It's a great idea. Nobody else is doing it. It's going to revolutionize the internet and become a verb, making you millions in the process. You've just checked in the last bugfix (You're using version control, right?). It's time to launch!

But wait! You haven't yet consulted with, the leader in technology analysis. Good thing I caught you. You were about to be successful and do everything perfectly from the beginning. That's not what the internet is about.

Here are some quick and easy guidelines that will ensure your complete and rapid failure.

Require user registration

Cool, a new site that encourages my participation! I'd love to throw in my quick vote for Item X. You need to ensure that your site is absolutely useless unless I've registered a user account. That way, your community is naturally elite, because 95% of your site's visitors won't bother to register (or return).

...then require email validation

You don't want to grow too quickly. Limit yourself to the capacity of your outgoing mailserver, and omit users who have aggressive spam filters.

By the time the remaining users receive your confirmation email, their excitement and interest in your site has probably waned. This should prevent them from contributing to your site, so you'll save on hosting and administration costs.

Depend completely on user-generated content

But don't start with a lot of content of your own. Tons of people want to visit your website and do all of the work so you can make money. Just put up an empty phpBB forum that proclaims itself as "The leading discussion community on [Topic!]" and content will flood in.

Get an unintelligible URL

It's important that your URL cannot be understood or remembered.

If it's easy to remember correctly by most people after hearing it spoken once over the phone, you'll get far too many non-geeks trying to use your site. These are usually the same people stupid enough to click on ads. Do you really want these people wasting your bandwidth to amuse their simple minds?

Clone another popular site

Don't flush valuable time and money down the toilet to think of a new idea. There aren't any truly original ideas anyway. Just do what someone else is doing, especially if they've recently been popular in the news.

You know what we really need? Something like Digg for technology-related news stories. Or a social networking site.

Focus primarily on a tech audience

Stick with what you know. Since the internet is run by geeks, we're best at generating websites and services related to computers.

We're the most fickle with our website loyalty. Since we'll try anything for 3 months before moving on to the next big thing, your goal should be keeping us addicted to your site.

The geek audience also yields the lowest returns on advertising, and yet we have the most competition.

Why wouldn't you enter this market? It's challenging!

All you need is AdSense

Build your business entirely on Google ads. You don't need any other sources of income or alternative advertising providers.

Google is perfect and would never do anything wrong, like cancel your account for life right before your first big paycheck for undisclosed reasons, or refuse to tell you why all of your ad clicks from yesterday mysteriously earned you $0.00, with absolutely no possible recourse.

Plus, everyone always clicks on Google ads because they're always so relevant and interesting. "Yes, I think I will try to find 'genocide' on eBay!"

Good luck

With all of this valuable information, we at wish you the best of luck. Hopefully, someday, your Web 2.0 business will be profitable.