Mike Periu wrote a good post in the American Express Online Forum about 4 requirements to start an industry-specific social network.
Such networks are valuable resources for discussing industry issues and challenges, and sharing resources.
4 Necessities for Industry Specific Social Networks:
- Critical Mass — He suggests getting the buy-in of 50 industry peers.
- Technology — Ning and $250 per year will do to start.
- Pain Points — Use industry pain points to launch discussions.
- Time and Discipline. “A big part of the success of an industry vertical social network is ensuring that fresh information is posted regularly, if not daily.” Do it yourself if other don’t, he advises.
Give it 6 months, Periu says, and reassess if it it not taking off after concerted effort.