According to a 2007 Pew Research study, 55 percent of U.S.
teens have created a profile on an online social network and use it regularly. If
you want advice on how to start a successful social network, ask a kid! I found this great advice on the Young/Upstart
blog advising how to start a social network that plays
to our core competency as content publishers:

Creating a Facebook group is the
easy part. Inviting people to join the group is not too difficult either (especially
if there’s a really good cause behind it). Keeping people interested, however,
is extremely tough. Key to keeping people? Content. Regular, relevant
content that incite and maintain conversations.

I was invited to join this Facebook group. It has a great
cause
. To my disappointment, it was utterly devoid of content-no images, no
discussion topics. Nothing.

Needless to say, there really wasn’t
anything for me to join.

Tip: Add some good content that will
spark off initial conversations (for the above group, a discussion thread that
asks people what are the key reasons they don’t have time to spend with their
families), BEFORE you start inviting members. People like to see activity.

While content on social
networks is typically user-generated, it takes original content
generated by the site sponsor to get things started. As content
publishers, content is what we do. So, go ahead. Start a social
network on your website with the full confidence that your place at this
table has been verified by a twentysomething blogger!

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Check
out FOLIO:’s new social network, MediaPRO
!]