Every year January through May we end up having panicked discussions with other parents on what camps we are enrolling our kids in during the summer. The most common way of choosing a camp is referral through friends, but the process of asking which friends kids are in which camps is ad-hoc and manual.
This is the inspiration for my wife to have created BratBliss, a site that allows folks to coordinate their kids summer plans with their Facebook friends. As you can see the idea is to keep the site very simple but useful with very little effort to start using it.
Hopefully through this class, I can help publicize this web-site and get users to try it out.
These are the user acquisition techniques that seem to make sense in order:
- Explicit invites
PR, Implicit invites don't seem to apply as much.
The website has a way for the user to advertise that you have joined the site by pushing a message onto Facebook (will add Twitter as well) and to invite any FB friend by just clicking on their photo. The value a user gets out of this site is directly proportional to the number of their friends using the site. So we are hoping that there is a selfish motivation to make explicit invites work out well.
The current site has a number of mistakes that don't make it optimized for SEO. The search keyword we want to target is "summer camp planning". So this needs to be fixed ASAP. Eventually when we have user generated content about each summer camp, we will target showing up as the number 1 or 2 search for each summer camp. But we are not there yet :-)
Moreover, given that we are starting from scratch, we will use a number of non-scalable techniques e.g. targeted PR and a bunch of manual techniques to get to the first 1,000 users.
The reason the other two techniques PR & implicit invites don't seem to make sense are that PR is not really that scalable to get to moms and parents. Implicit invites don't make sense because by definition parents will want to keep their kids activities and whereabouts confidential and there's isn't that opportunity to push to FB, twitter, or email.
On customer retention, of the the suggestions seems to apply really well. A daily or weekly digest email stating how many friends have updated their kids' status might draw users back to the site.
Since the site is not ready for alpha customers yet, unfortunately bulk of applying what we learnt in the class will be applied after the class is over.
Thanks in advance for providing feedback on this.