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How do WEB 2.0 sites get first few members, like a new site comes up for "discussing books" or "renting apartments" or any thing for that matter. So if some marketing is able to pull in some visitors, all first few visitors will see blank data bases no existing info offered. wont they carry a bad name and never come back again ... ??

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Oct 25 '10 at 13:00

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

Fill it yourself. Or pay someone to do it for you. – larsmans Oct 25 '10 at 12:42
I'd say that as this is not a question that relates to programming, it would get better answers at webmasters.stackexchange.com . Voting to migrate. (Note also that this topic was discussed on the SO blog, you may want to take a look there: blog.stackoverflow.com ) – Piskvor Oct 25 '10 at 12:43

How to get a website started will vary depending on the purpose of the website. But based on some of the examples you give in your question you could try:

  • For the renting apartments concept offer the first "X" number of listing a free or heavily discounted rate. This will entice people to sign up since the cost/risk to them is minimal. That will help to populate your site and get word out about it. Then gradually raise your pricing as the site becomes more popular.

  • For the discussing books concept start off by seeding the site with your own questions and discussions. Have friends help you out by participating in a few of them. That way the site isn't empty and looks active. Invite people from similar sites to join you (without spamming the other websites). Eventually the word will get out about your site and you will have content in the search engines to drive further traffic to you.

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+1 - That's definitely the ethical route to take and, when it comes to paying other parties to create content, you can expect to get what you pay for (i.e. a modest community of real, interested parties will probably beat out a team of offshore contractors who draft up spam in their free time) – danlefree Oct 25 '10 at 13:25

securitytube got some following by offering initial content - videos - then adding a Q&A section. imho content is king. don't start a "discussion site" without many articles/blogs to comment on. you can try and crowdsource the initial content by dropping in embeds for national/local news stories and commenting on the or offering rebuttals.

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I'd say many of the startups Have to do that so that when the few first users hit your site and don't deem it just another ghost internet town like many others, keep in mind the first users are your vouchers to the fate of your start-up and you don't want your effort to look like just another ghost town. This is one of many techniques used to help start-ups grow. Its always your take at the end that matters


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