I watched with great dismay this week as PeopleAggregator launched and created a swirl of negative comment due to the slightly spammy nature of Marc Canter’s invites to anyone who had ever mailed him. I have huge respect for Marc and his vision, passion, directness and energy but he really made a pigs ear of the launch. Instead of everyone discussing all of the possibilities created by PeepAg, the buzz just fizzled almost immediately.

I had been asking myself how they can regain the momentum in terms of getting people involved and excited but luckily Tara Hunt has answered that. Marc is a customer of hers and she lists a wonderful set of rules for operating in this space.

  1. be patient
  2. be part of the community you serve
  3. build something amazing and they will come
  4. SPAM means that if someone hasn’t expressed interest explicitly (i.e. signed up, then opted in to receive emails), don’t send email
  5. it’s all in the organic growth…that means 100% natural
  6. limit outgoing messages altogether, unless they are incredibly personal
  7. work with the grassroots, not against it
  8. concentrate on individual relationships, not mass messaging
  9. involve the community early on in the development process
  10. trust is the new currency…if you spend it, you can’t replenish it - it’s a valuable, non-renewable resource
  11. be patient

I think these rules will be quoted over and over in the coming year. I’ve printed them out and stuck them to my wall. We are in the very early days of building what I hope will be a globally successful product. Up until Monday I had thought about the launch and initial growth of the product in general terms but the stumbling of PeepAg means that rule number 9 in particular moves to the top of my list.

[tags]Tara Hunt, PeopleAggregator, Marc Canter, HorsePigCow[/tags]