Few of the other community sites like Friendster and MySpace allow the personalization of profile pages like MySpace allows.
How important is it for a site or page to differentiate itself from the rest of the crowd? Facebook although wonderfully desinged (nice going Bryan, doesn’t allow for the customization of pages and therefore every profile page looks the same. Now there are many other factors to the success of MySpace over Facebook, but I wonder how big of a role did customization play?
When Weblogs, Inc. started, every single site looked the same. I always hounded Calacanis about branding and making every site unique, but I also understood the dilemma he was facing. When you have over 80 sites, it’s not feasible to make every single one look different. Sure you can change some colors around and do a different logo, but 80 unique designs in a short period of time is nearly impossible.
How much of a role did design play in the success of WIN? Again, I am not too sure of this, but I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the most popular sites in the network are the ones that offer their own unique designs.
With the Fine Fools sites I never had any intentions to change the designs of the sites so that they all stood out on their own because it was just my own little project and doing a unique design for 2-3 new sites a week just wasn’t going to happen. However in just this short period of time since I introduced the Community I realized it won’t be just a small project and that the writers will want their sites to be at least slightly different from the rest.
But how can this be achieved? The challenge involved is that I would like for each site to exhibit a bit of personality while also maintaining a certain look and feel so that people are aware it is part of a Community. But really how important do you think something like this is with regards to the success of the site? I know I have asked this question a million times in the past, but can you really have one template that helps each site achieve its own branding, while also maintaing the overall brand of the Community?