How To Spread A Network Like Wildfire, Part I: First Things First
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The most important thing you can be asking yourself as a Network Creator is:

How the heck do I get this thing off the ground?

This is true for any entrepreneur, hobbyist, or company Network Creator.

The good news is that one person can get a network off to the races by focusing on a very small number of important things. That’s easy enough, right?

In fact, there are two clear and distinct paths for you to create a social network that spreads like wildfire. I mean out of control, balls-to-the-walls growth. I’m talking the type of growth that makes you the Mick Jagger of Nerds.

The two paths are actually pretty simple:

1. One Great Piece of Content

2. The Right People First

Whatever you do, the only place you don’t want to be is smack in the middle. The middle is a wasteland. Avoid it at all costs.

First Things First

Whether you take the path of One Great Piece of Content or The Right People First, your social network has got to have the foundation in place for a phenomenal experience and the ability to spread like wildfire. This is the prep work you’ll want to have in place before you light the match:

1. New people on your network have a bunch of things they can do immediately. They can add their own videos, photos, or music. They can upload their own podcasts. They can blog. They can comment. They can rate. They can discuss. They can meet new people. They can make friends. Or, they can just look around. They’ve got options.

2. Viral mechanisms are in place. Online, this means invitations, sharing, and widgets. The ability for your members to import their address books from gmail, hotmail, and yahoo is a bonus.

3. There are already a small number of people contributing. The first thing people look for when they get to a new network is activity. They aren’t going to a party where they are the only guest. Whether it’s you alone or you’ve recruited a few friends, you’ve got to get things rolling.

Ok, now you’re ready to go. You are all set for following One Great Piece of Content or The Right People First paths to creating a wildfire network.