How To Create Small Niche Social Network Sites.
After growing frustrated with the amount of time she spent exchanging emails with other parents and searching the Internet for reliable parenting advice, Andra Davidson, a first-time mother in San Francisco, decided to create a site where new parents could easily exchange advice and information. MothersClick.com, launched last year, allows users to answer each other's questions and join or start private groups to discuss topics of their choice -- from finding trustworthy baby sitters to dealing with rambunctious kids.
Now, Ms. Davidson and her husband, Dietrich von Behren, want to transform the free site, which has about 10,000 members, into a real business.
While the site already sports some small ads, a revamped site that's "more advertiser friendly" -- with space specifically set aside for large banner ads, rather than the handful of text ads that currently are crammed at the bottom of pages -- will be unveiled in coming weeks, according to the 36-year-old Mr. von Behren. An overhaul was in order, he says, because the site's popularity is surging -- and it's being contacted by eager advertisers, including major ad agencies.
"We realize there's an opportunity to fund the site and raise capital," he says.
But Ms. Davidson, 38 years old, adds that the priority will be to ensure that members don't feel bombarded by ads. "I want them to feel comfortable," she says.
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