Pretty much the only way I’ve ever become better at something is by being terrible at it first. I began making terrible websites in 2009, and a few months later I graduated to building mediocre web apps.
Here’s my first one…
I called my site Likeroll and imagined it as a StumbleUpon for Facebook pages. Every time you loaded the site, it would display a random Facebook page with a short blurb and a like button. You could press “roll” to see another random result. I don’t own the domain now, but here is a functional demo.
Likeroll was the first website I promoted. I submitted the site to a blog called Killer Startups and they featured it a few days later. A few people submitted their Facebook pages to the database. A web designer from Spain saw the post and reviewed Likeroll on a blog for Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, saying he liked how simple it was.
I love doing projects like this because it’s a rich learning opportunity. Often, we study in the realm of “things you know that you don’t know”, but new projects expose you to “things you don’t know that you don’t know.”
Here are some examples of what I learned:
- People like single function websites that are easy to understand and fun to share;
- The internet has totally free scripts you can use for your project. This availability makes creating a complicated web app relatively easy. I used a script for the randomization function;
- Promotion is partly a numbers game. I submitted Likeroll to three blogs and one of them featured it. If you submit your site to 10 blogs maybe it will be featured three times;
- You can create a Chain Reaction of Opportunity. One person saw the post on Killer Startups and was inspired to write about it. Sometimes the wins are larger, e.g. a niche news site featured my client’s project, and then Fox News did a video segment and a few smaller blogs wrote reviews;
- Keep your domains. Domain registration costs $12 per year and I’d happily pay that to keep the original Likeroll website live.
Here is the Spanish guy’s review:
And here is the Google translated version:
Most users will always find websites that can be of your taste, but can also be interesting to many other people, which do need to know some way.
Well today I present LikeRoll a website that allows us to discover sharing sites we like, including Facebook pages of those sites.
In LikeRoll really in a minimalist interface the website, I like to have, and the link to add the site to possibly like you !!!
The very simple operation, you fill out the form with the information requested and hit the submit button now !!!
– Gustavo Martínez