Social Web Apps Design
Online Community Development

Bootstrapping Social Media Tools

by Saul Fleischman on April 4, 2012

Increasingly, those who read my blog are dipping at least a toe or two into the waters of collaboration, and so I thought to tell people, old friends and new ones, what I have been doing most recently.

Being Useful

I want cooperation from people with abilities I don’t have and so I help worthwhile people with what they need, drawing on my strengths.

Okay, truth be told, I actually enjoy helping people, whether it be with SEO basics, WordPress issues, or what I am mostly doing: lean startup team-building and social media tool creation, and just plain getting things made.

I have to get tools made and live, whether they are instantly profitable or not. I have come to understand that what people know me for is know-how that they don’t want to pay for, and any way you slice it, is not going to produce a level of revenue that will allow me the freedom to continue

taking my own ideas and those of collaborators, refining them together, and then bootstrapping their creation and launch.

Blogging, the ins and outs of crowdsourcing, proprietary technology securing for light startups, CMS, syndication, curation, aggregation, aggravation, blogger character assassination: we’ve talked on this, whether you consider “talking” the ideas going around on my blog and comments or in a G+ Hangout or my favorite communication channel (figure this one out, why don’t you?), the discussions are plentiful. Seven days/week for me, in fact, I’m talking with people in Japan and worldwide, trouble-shooting each others’ plans and crowdfunded launches, and so on.

What really floats my boat, however, is the 1+1+1=5,000 math of starting up and creating new things, drawing on the varied abilities of tiny creative teams: ultralight startup initiation. I am now mainly working on a few projects (I am not at liberty to provide specifics) which at least aim to be fun and useful, innovative social media tools. We are taking each others’ hair-brain “got part of it/stuck on the…”-type ideas, refining them together, creating visualizations to facilitate our understanding of what we are refining our projects into, and then

Bootstrapping Web Apps

Specifically, the projects range from…

  1. Ronald de Block‘s Facebook Fanpage ebook‘s introduction, re-branding and marketing
  2. IdeasWatch.com user experience and community building
  3. the creation of a content sharing site tag optimization tool
  4. and even a darkly comedic site that will showcase and celebrate a growing, vibrant, ever-changing and community-nominated selection of only the most mind-bogglingly imbecilic bloggers ever to pollute the blogosphere (what, you thought I was “nice?” Wrong guy, wrong blog.) Our scope is wide; we may not need to look beyond Triberr, however.
  5. and a couple other facebook games and mobile apps that are so, so hot, I wont even hint at what our mad scientists aim to release into the atmosphere…

These projects are fun, working on them is a joy (even when headaches and hickups arise) and they all aim to bring people together, and do something fairly good.

People seem to be plotting to make me happy

We don’t get involved in projects we can’t feel good about bringing into existence. What’s more, I find that I am usually the loud-mouth who insists that we at least offer to

Showcase the talents of every single person who contributed substantially to the realization of what we create.

And credit their asses publicly.

This is something I see scant little of, and something I believe to be important. We know that we will not make money with everything we build and launch. We don’t accept your work, however, without finding a way that we all feel good about – to CREDIT YOU properly for your contributions, whether they be short or long-term involvements.

If we’re talking regularly, you know it is you who I am thrilled to be working with. I am sleeping less and less – yet more and more energetic and creative, and it do think you are the cause of this trend. You are more visual than I am, and so I just flip when I see the logos and wireframes you come up with. My temperature rises when php, .net and JAVA backend people read a specs document and show us other things that they could also do that would enhance the features we will provide to our site users. I appreciate the chance to work with people whose brains are wired much differently than my own – and

we each see light at the end of tunnels that we wouldn’t have even approached on our own.

We stumble, we redefine the scope and aims of projects sometimes (ouch!), and we learn from the little perks as well as the little pains.

Albert Einstein said that that’s okay: “a person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”

I wonder what Einstein would have thought of FAQs? I love working with a web director and user experience colleague who remarked, on my addition of an FAQ link on the top page of one of our sites being developed, “no instructional videos, no FAQs. These are evidence of design ineptitude.”

Albert probably would have sided with Michal; we know him also for “intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them.”

Do you have half a cockamamie idea for a social media tool, a Facebook learning game, cloud-based education or translation system, but perhaps not all the skills to do it all yourself? If you actually care more about getting it made soon, and done very professionally, then get talking with us, and let’s see where our synergies are strongest.

I leave you with where I was “featured” most recently – from Carlos Romero:

About Saul Fleischman

Founder of emerging social media tool sites. Bootstrapping innovation with lean startup development teams. I do project management, user experience, PR, marketing and community development.

su.pr size it! http://su.pr/1D3lEb

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  • Neil Van Wouw

    Great post Saul!

  • waynemansfield

    Saul

    Since our last long conversation my contacts have commissioned me to find the next Isrgram… my pool of funds is $50US and up… we completing a Singapore company at the momrnt to faciitate the investing in new companies.

    In a few weeks we should talk about what maybe possible.

  • Robert Rogers

    Very cool.  We’re always far better when we emphasize the best in our team.  I appreciate the perspective.

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