Here are a few guidelines that provide "cool" things to include and pitfalls to avoid when creating a social network:
- The social network must be capable of making and organizing connections. This is a primary required feature within any network. The organization of connections may be based on interests, hobbies, sports, profession and so on dependent on the network category desired.
- The social network should consist of basic features such as profiles, ability to search people, friend lists, messages, groups or organizations, and photos.
- Integrate the social network so that it will work on the desktop as well as on a mobile device as people are much more mobile today and want to be able to access their social network anytime and from anywhere.
- It is very crucial to offer a service for the social network that is unique and has a "stickiness" to it so that it gets a wide traction and users find it compelling and interesting to come back and use it on an ongoing basis. Examples are a news feed, notifications, messages, applications (i.e. funwall), etc.
- Make the social network easy to use, easy for members to sign up and invite their friends.
- Make sure that the social network includes support for OpenSocial and can be integrated with the prevalent social networks (i.e. facebook, flickr, myspace, twitter, linkedin, etc.)
- Avoid creating yet another social network that simply replicates what is already available today (i.e. another facebook, myspace, twitter, and so on).