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Minding Your Own Business
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I need your honest opinion pleaseViews: 1595
Aug 25, 2007 1:27 amI need your honest opinion please#

Stephen Gill
Here is my story, I am being hampered down on the the "fuzziness" of what this networking site can be. I am trying to develop a networking site specifically for entrepreneurs between the ages 20-35. I would appreciate your comments on the type of value you would expect from such a site and what you think of what I have compiled so far on the beta.

www.mywhispergroup.com

P.S. The site is not fully functional in all areas.

Thank You



Private Reply to Stephen Gill

Aug 25, 2007 2:32 pmre: I need your honest opinion please#

Denise O'Berry
So Stephen, what makes your site different than all the other networking places out there? Inquiring minds want to know.

Best regards,

Denise O'Berry
Network Leader

Private Reply to Denise O'Berry

Aug 25, 2007 3:32 pmre: I need your honest opinion please#

Lorilyn Bailey
Your site is nicely designed. But I don't see how it's different from other networking sites. What is the existing need and what are you doing to fill it? I realize you are asking us that. But I don't see anything glaring that is missing from existing sites. Unless you identify those missing features yourself and present them to us, it's hard to compare yours with others.

It is also a bit of a turnoff to have an age cutoff of 35. There are plenty of entrepreneurs who are older, sometimes substantially older, than that. Why turn them off? I don't know how old you are, but to me, once you hit 30, we're all pretty much the same "age" when it comes to starting up businesses. We need the same information.

I don't understand the meaning of the title of the site: MyWhisperGroup. What is meant by whisper? Somehow it sounds secretive. Why secretive? I don't know what a "whisper group" is. I see "Whisper" is related to the name of your company. It may make sense to you, but it is a confusing term for anyone else. It might be better to have a nonsensical name than something that evokes other concepts. (Examples of successful nonsense words: Xerox, Kodak.)

Because it's a strange name, people might not want to share it with others. It could turn into a "Who's on first" type of conversation, e.g., "I love MyWhisperGroup!" "What's a whisper group?" "I don't know what a whisper group is, I just love MyWhisperGroup!"

Hope that helps.

Lorilyn Bailey
http://www.NewsBuzzPR.com, home of GuestFinder.com
http://www.IdeaCalendar.com

Private Reply to Lorilyn Bailey

Aug 25, 2007 4:09 pmre: re: I need your honest opinion please#

Stephen Gill
Hello Denise,
thank you for your response. To answer your question I am trying to really pin that question down, you see this concept originated after sitting in one of many entrepreneur focused seminars, with 500 or more people, and thinking "there has got to be a least 10 people in here that can really help me or that I can help," either by providing an opportunity or me helping them with an opportunity. So I came up with this idea an..."entrepreneur's ebay" filled with opportunities available locally and internationally(products on ebay) and opportunity seekers (people looking for products/services)locally and internationally.

Please bear in mind the concept as the site is not quite polished yet.

I hope this answers your question and looking forward to your response.

Private Reply to Stephen Gill

Aug 25, 2007 4:43 pmre: re: I need your honest opinion please#

Stephen Gill
Hello Lorilyn,
thank you for your response. I appreciate your feedback as this is exactly what I am looking for. Regarding what differentiates my site from other networking sites I would have to explain as the site is not fully functional or even properly active.

What I am trying to do is to create an "entrepreneur's ebay" filled with opportunities out there that each member could never fully be aware of and a place for entrepreneurs' like yourself to "Connect, Interact and Succeed" with other like minded individuals.

I can see that the site is not that much different from what we are doing in this network on Ryze but with one small element missing, an opportunity posted that the individual can personally attest to actually works.

As for the cut off age it was not meant to exclude or offend but instead to show some kind of focus; I fully agree that there are plenty of entrepreneurs who are older.

To address your concern with the name; the name is not meant to be secretive but instead to evoke curiousity (entrepreneurs are always looking for that edge IMHO). It is my experience that when most of us hear that ad or person boisterously proclaiming that you can make $X with this opportunity we tend to disbelieve, become sceptical or look for that close relationship that can either confirm or deny. But, when someone "whispers" a tip we almost instinctively tune in, almost the same way we tune in when carrying on a conversation with a quiet speaker.

The "My" gives the member ownership (site will be as good as the contributions of the members); "Group"....is just many different voices "Whisper"..ing about what they can attest to

I hope this answers your questions. Thanks again.

Steve

Private Reply to Stephen Gill

Aug 25, 2007 8:39 pmre: re: re: I need your honest opinion please#

Denise O'Berry
Steve --

Sounds to me like you've fallen victim to one of the biggest diseases of entrepreneurs. It's the "I have an idea, now all I have to do is sell it" disease. That's a tough road to hoe in business.

A better way is to find a problem and fix it. There is no problem here that is already "not fixed" by one or another networking sites out there.

Have you done any market research to see if you have an audience for what you are trying to sell? What does your research tell you?

Best regards,

Denise O'Berry
Network Leader

Private Reply to Denise O'Berry

Aug 25, 2007 9:48 pmre: re: re: re: I need your honest opinion please#

Stephen Gill
Denise,

I'm not trying to sell a membership, I am trying to create a marketplace/community/haven for entrepreneurs and those alike. So, the problem is not selling it since we are all looking for some type of opportunity/help to get us to where we hope to end up. Furthermore, the site is free to join since like many entrepreneurs out there capital may better be invested in ones business/idea and not another networking site.

The problem I have identified in my research done through numerous entrepreneurial seminars (real estate investing, starting a small business, obtaining passive income etc' etc)is that after these events many of the participants are all pumped and ready to go but not quite sure if the conveniently supplied opportunities in that said event is really for them. Thats the problem, where could they find that said opportunity that is best suited to their strengths or budget. My hope is that with many ears to the ground someone can inform that soul of one that may be right for them.

If you read my response to Lorilyn I stated my intent is to create an "entrepreneur's ebay." A place to find the best "deals" on opportunities available etc etc. What I am looking for is feedback on perfecting that delivery.

P.S. if you know of another site or sites that already do what I hope to do i would love to know about it.

Regards,
Stephen

Private Reply to Stephen Gill

Aug 25, 2007 11:27 pmre: re: re: re: re: I need your honest opinion please#

Fred Keller
Stephen - Your site has the Professional look - but now what?

As per above comments, are you not trying to re-invent the proverbial wheel?

This is the difficulty with all these ...er...non-inexpensive...Seminars where you leave them feeling Great! Ready to take on the World! and on your way to the parking lot, you yell: "I'm going to do It! I will succeed at it!"

Then: you stop - pause a minute and ask: What is It??

Did you ever realize that they rarely provide you with a vehicle to get you to your goals and dreams?

Within a couple of days you've (not necessarily You) lost the enthusiasm you had.

I congratulate you for taking action. That's more than 98% of what others do.

So - here you are with a great question ... and me rambling a bit...OK ... alot.

As stated by others: the key is to 'find a need and fill it'.
There is a business model that I find very satisfying: interview people and find their needs. Then show them how to get it/them. The great part is it doesn't require a big investment $$. It can be fit to any schedule. It takes discipline and a willingness to learn.

Enough rambling....My suggestion is to research where the needs are and concentrate on helping fill them. Start with a business plan. Figure out here you want to be - 5 , 10, 50 years from now and build in that direction. Wisdom: help enough people get what they want and you will automatically get what you want.

Great question! Good Fortune to You!

Fred





What's Your >>> http://passion.first411.com

Private Reply to Fred Keller

Aug 25, 2007 11:31 pmre: re: re: re: re: I need your honest opinion please#

Reg Charie
Stephen,
I looked at your site and while what you have done is well crafted, it left me cold.

If I am looking for a networking site I want to be able to see the members and the forums, without being asked for my information.
If the forums are not available without membership, then they are closed to the search engines.
If they are closed to the search engines then they lose a LOT of their value to me.

And just WHO is Stephen Gill?

No picture, almost no info, yet he asks us to leave Ryze to give him our information on yet another SNS.

Reg
http://DotCom-Productions.com

Private Reply to Reg Charie

Aug 26, 2007 12:32 amre: re: re: re: re: re: I need your honest opinion please#

Lindy Asimus
Good point Reg, about the sign-in-to-get-anything-useful. Both in terms of it being NOT a very inviting proposition in any website (think real estate websites as the classic for this... Many of them insist on a registering to look at their multilist, which on some sites is freely available to search), and in terms of search engines being able to index and add to your visibility on the internet.

So maybe Stephen's idea could use some tweaking, but who's to say it is not something that could work? I remember when a friend set up Stumbleupon with some mates, that it seemed a rather small need to fill, if it even existed. Go figure.

Get some help Stephen and work this idea out so that it satisfies the areas that the naysayers have pinged you for. They are right in a way, and yet, you have a vision of something you want to create, find some practical people with the knowhow to help you overcome the pitfalls that have been mentioned, and go for it, if you really believe in it. But this is work, this isn't dabble and think wishfully territory.

One thing that confused me a little though, is why the age limits?


Lindy

Private Reply to Lindy Asimus

Aug 26, 2007 4:20 amre: re: re: re: re: re: I need your honest opinion please#

Stephen Gill
Thank you Fred for your response; you are right when you question whether this concept is just a re-invention of the proverbial wheel many new ideas are spin offs of old ideas/concepts. My spin off is a community that actually helps with the sourcing of opportunities available (passive income investments, great investment deals in your community etc etc). so to answer the question again as to what need I am trying to fill the answer is :- (spoken in 1st person) the NEED to find an opportunity that can help me get to where I am hoping to end up in 5,10,50 years from now.

To address your wisdom stated, I AM trying to help as many people get what they want after all we are all looking for some type of opportunity/help to get us to where we hope to end up.

Regards,
Stephen

Private Reply to Stephen Gill

Aug 26, 2007 4:55 amre: re: re: re: re: re: I need your honest opinion please#

Stephen Gill
Thank you Reg for your response, though you stated that my "well crafted" site left you cold you did not offer a suggestion as to what would have made it warmer for you.

As for what you are looking for in a networking site i can respect that but the forum topics are available for you to see without providing your information. I doubt very much you clicked on the link to the left labeled "Discussion forum. Try it again if you so desire. The members, if you have been following the initial post and my various responses you would realize that the site is BETA and not fully functional, therefore there are no members to see.

I am curious though, were you able to see the forums and members here on Ryze before you joined?

As for who I am, I am a new member (1.5 days) out of Toronto, if all the requirements that i filled out to be on here has not shown up for your scrutinizing mind I apologize and will address that immediately. As for the picture I do intend to post one but as of now I chose not to portray myself as a person less fortunate than most with a sign that certain people find amusing.

For your information Reg, I was not asking anyone to leave Ryze or to give me your information after all the site in its not fully functional state is not even able to register members. Reread where you got that impression.

Regards,
Stephen

Private Reply to Stephen Gill

Aug 26, 2007 5:15 amre: re: re: re: re: re: re: I need your honest opinion please#

Stephen Gill
Thank you Lindy for your feedback, but as I have said in other responses of mine, the site is not fully functional! even though it is so you are still able to see what topics can be addressed in the "Discussion Forum," "Articles" "Resources," "Ideas" etc etc. i would hope that once these areas hold their content you can find something useful.

As for my idea needing some tweaking, it is exactly what I stated in my first post before I was subtly attacked as if the concept was complete. I asked for opinions.

I am still hoping that those comments to follow will demonstrate that they have read the previous posts answering other members questions and provide some of that help I need to tweak and overcome the potential pitfalls pointed out to me.

The age limit as I mentioned in another post was only to show a bit of focus on who could potentially use the site as opposed to being all things to all people. It is not written in stone.

Regards,
Stephen

Private Reply to Stephen Gill

Aug 26, 2007 2:44 pmre: : re: re: re: I need your honest opinion please#

Stephen Gill
Thank you Barbara for your response.

I am a little uncertain how to respond to your comment of not calling it Ryze since what I am aiming to do (if I survive all the criticism about a site that is still in development) IS going to be different from Ryze etc etc. I asked for what could be done to make what I already have better for you/us, not whether I should call it Ryze or whether it is a spin-off of another idea (a wheel is still a wheel whether it is on a car or a bike).

I was looking for vision of what it could be to help each person, I got mostly negative undertone and misinterpretation.

As for wanting to narrow it to young people I addressed that concern posted by another member by explaining that the age range posted was only to show some kind of focus, not to exclude, insult or anything else.

As you can plainly see posted on the homepage it is stated:- "Share your experiences and learn from others," as one of the benefits. Not:- "Learn from young people." To ASSUME that an age range, stated in a request for an opinion on how I could make this site better, is to avoid "us old folks" from telling me "Tried that, didn't work so well," does not demonstrate that expected wisdom.

As for coming up with another wheel, fire or bagel; it will be another site to achieve a goal just like your site (another site to achieve a goal)

Regards,
Stephen

Private Reply to Stephen Gill

Aug 26, 2007 3:32 pmre: re: : re: re: re: I need your honest opinion please#

Denise O'Berry
Stephen --

No one is attacking or criticizing you. It is your interpretation of the words that are being presented by the members who have taken the time to do what you asked for in your subject "I need your honest opinion please."

There are great minds and great wisdom on this network. When you ask for feedback, you will receive it.

We are merely providing our feedback from what you have presented to us from your description and website. I have seen many small business owners in your position during my 30 years in business. You need to go back to step one, do some focus groups or surveys of your target market and then develop what problem your site should solve and how it could do that most effectively.

Best regards,

Denise O'Berry
Network Leader

Private Reply to Denise O'Berry

Aug 26, 2007 3:36 pmre: I need your honest opinion please#

Kurt Schweitzer
Stephen,

I believe you're question is directed to the wrong group. You need to go to that group of "entrepreneurs between the ages 20-35" and ask THEM what the want in your website.

No group? Then you'd better get started putting THAT together BEFORE you start playing around with a website design.

Of course you can try the "build it and they will come" approach. In that case our opinions won't matter at all - you'll design the website YOU want, and people who like it will flock to it. This approach works for LOTS of like-minded groups, all of which are very small in terms of membership numbers.

As for being a beta, so what? Is this an excuse for advertising features that don't work? "Do, or do not. There is no try!" If something on your website doesn't work, don't have a link to it!

Finally, just because you aren't charging money for using your site don't believe you can get away without having to sell it. The technology is a small fraction of the investment you'll need to make it successful. Marketing and advertising (SELLING) is going to take most of your time and money.

Good luck!

Kurt Schweitzer
Urban Village Scooters

Private Reply to Kurt Schweitzer

Aug 26, 2007 4:54 pmre: re: I need your honest opinion please#

Reg Charie
Stephen,
You come to the group unheralded asking for honest opinions, then when you don't like the answers you try to argue your points.

You replied to my post in PM then you bring the same reply public.

Just to keep the record straight and open, here is what I replied.

-----
Stephen, you asked for an honest opinion, and I gave you that.
You are right, I missed the forums link. Too many choices.
I tried several links and got a mandatory sign up form.
IMO this is way to early in the process. You have to sell the product before asking for signups.

Do you want to know what I think would make it warmer?
Colors for one. Blue and gray are for staid businesses, not something that portrays to be exciting and vibrant.

In a networking site I do not expect to see group forums. What I would want to see is what we have on Ryze. Networks on different topics run by members, not the "house".

I can understand beta, I have participated in many.
What you have is an alpha.
Not having at least a couple of generic memberships set up for us to see cut back on the effect and interest they might have generated.
After all, wouldn't that be the primary reason we were going there? To see what is in your system for us? The member page would be primary.

Yes I could see the forums on Ryze before signing up.
Well at least the ones that did not require membership to view.
After smoozing through the various networks I had enough information to decide to join as a fee member.
2 weeks later I signed up as a paid member.
I have joined a number of different SNS systems over the years and have not found one that suited my needs better.

Social Networking is one of building relationships, not selling. My response would have been different had you a photo and more details.
What part of Toronto? I lived there for years.

As for my photo, I did not choose to use it until I established myself here in Ryze. You might be surprised how much business it has brought in.

You were asking people to join up, and in effect, leave Ryze. Just showing the site conveys that.

While I applaud your efforts, I think you need to be better prepared before venturing out into the marketing world.
First impressions, (like not having a picture and error messages on the site), really count.
Social networking, for those of us that sit behind impersonal computer screens, is one of making connections.

I enabled my instant messenger info for you on my Ryze homepage, should you wish to chat.
Are you building this on a windows server?

Reg
----------

You say that your idea is "not quite polished yet" but it seems that the buffing it is getting is rubbing you the wrong way.

There are contradictions in your presentation and replies.
True, your site is free, at the moment, but it does not look like it will always be so.
Frankly I would not expect it to be free, as you have to monetize the system somehow and popular sites require investment in server architecture.
And Kurt is spot on when he says "Marketing and advertising (SELLING) is going to take most of your time and money."
As you are in the planning stages it would serve you well to take a closer look at SEO for the site.
You have already made one big mistake.
You linked an unfinished site in a spidered forum. This will count against you in your SERPs.

The fact that your intent to create an "entrepreneur's ebay" did not come across in your presentation should be sending you back to the drawing board.

>>I was looking for vision of what it could be to help each person, I got mostly negative undertone and misinterpretation.
Don't blame us youngster, you need to refine your concept. Perhaps partnering with some of the experienced "old folks" would temper your enthusiasm with experience?

>>To ASSUME that an age range, stated in a request for an opinion on how I could make this site better, is to avoid "us old folks" from telling me "Tried that, didn't work so well," does not demonstrate that expected wisdom.

The way you present it determines WHAT we assume.
Look at your market.
I would suspect that in your target age group the majority are NOT entrepreneurs but wage slaves, and while some of them would be looking for self employment, the system, (debts, family, homes, etc), keeps them from progressing.
OTOH, the "graying" market, or old folks, have the experience , the startup funds, and the need to develop alternate sources of income.

Reg
http://DotCom-Productions.com

Private Reply to Reg Charie

Aug 28, 2007 1:17 amre: re: re: I need your honest opinion please#

Stephen Gill
Thank you all for your responses.

Regards,
Stephen

Private Reply to Stephen Gill

Aug 28, 2007 2:52 pmre: re: re: re: I need your honest opinion please#

Amit Desai
this is the error that i got first time i hit enter on your site. i will take some time to analyze the site till then fix it first

PHP Warning: Unknown(): Unable to load dynamic library 'C:\Program Files\SWsoft\Plesk\Additional\PleskPHP5\ext\php_curl.dll' - The specified module could not be found. in Unknown on line 0 PHP Warning: Unknown(): Unable to load dynamic library 'C:\Program Files\SWsoft\Plesk\Additional\PleskPHP5\ext\php_gd2.dll' - The specified module could not be found. in Unknown on line 0 PHP Warning: Unknown(): Unable to load dynamic library 'C:\Program Files\SWsoft\Plesk\Additional\PleskPHP5\ext\php_gettext.dll' - The specified module could not be found. in Unknown on line 0 PHP Warning: Unknown(): Unable to load dynamic library 'C:\Program Files\SWsoft\Plesk\Additional\PleskPHP5\ext\php_imap.dll' - The specified module could not be found. in Unknown on line 0 PHP Warning: Unknown(): Unable to load dynamic library 'C:\Program Files\SWsoft\Plesk\Additional\PleskPHP5\ext\php_mssql.dll' - The specified module could not be found. in Unknown on line 0 PHP Warning: Unknown(): Unable to load dynamic library 'C:\Program Files\SWsoft\Plesk\Additional\PleskPHP5\ext\php_mysql.dll' - The specified module could not be found. in Unknown on line 0 PHP Warning: Unknown(): Unable to load dynamic library 'C:\Program Files\SWsoft\Plesk\Additional\PleskPHP5\ext\php_sockets.dll' - The specified module could not be found. in Unknown on line 0 PHP Warning: Unknown(): Unable to load dynamic library 'C:\Program Files\SWsoft\Plesk\Additional\PleskPHP5\ext\php_pdo.dll' - The specified module could not be found. in Unknown on line 0 PHP Warning: Unknown(): Unable to load dynamic library 'C:\Program Files\SWsoft\Plesk\Additional\PleskPHP5\ext\php_sqlite.dll' - The specified module could not be found. in Unknown on line 0 PHP Warning: Unknown(): Unable to load dynamic library 'C:\Program Files\SWsoft\Plesk\Additional\PleskPHP5\ext\php_pdo_sqlite.dll' - The specified module could not be found. in Unknown on line 0

Private Reply to Amit Desai

Sep 01, 2007 6:17 pmre: I need your honest opinion please#

Kathy Buck
Hi Stephan,

First Kudo's on asking opinions!

You stated: "I am being hampered down on the the "fuzziness" of what this networking site can be. I am trying to develop a networking site specifically for entrepreneurs between the ages 20-35."

My response - A solid business plan might clear up some of the fuzziness. Idea's are great, they need planning though. Flying cross country is quicker, sometimes a slow scenic drive with a mapped route is best.

A business plan will help you identify your objectives by revieweing your current market, competitors, and better laying out blue prints to set yourself apart from like sites.

Your choice of getting into social networking is a tough market. You are seeking a niche market of entrepeanuers and tightened that niche down to just 20-35 year olds. IMO you have over targetted.

You need to ask yourself, why would that age group leave myspace or ryze to use your site? What sets you apart?

On an odd note, "my whisper" sounds like there is a big secret, what are your plans for any branding campaign? Victoria once had a secret too, it's now a well known lingerie brand. *wink*

Best Wishes,

KB

Kathy B
Mayhem Marketing
"Creative Works & Strategies for the Mill of Human Consumerism"
http://www.mayhemmarketing.net

Private Reply to Kathy Buck

Sep 04, 2007 4:59 pmre: I need your honest opinion please#

Eileen Brown
I read most of the comments and only have a few questions
to ask. Some of the replies are quite correct. Some are
noteworty and nicely put and some are a bit, um... rude-ish.

Why would anyone want to target such a small age group of
people?

Does anyone in that age group have enough experience to
actully help each other?

Who and where is the expert these people will follow? You
need to list at least ONE. One in each field would be
best. Experts usually have a few years under their belts in
the real world so finding someone who is say 30-35 who can
actually be of service with good, solid business advice
might be a tad difficult.

The site itself is very good looking. You did a nice job
there. The text content is (semi) professional but does
have a few rought spots. Something to work on.

You do still need a hook, as has already been spewed out
above in other comments.

Keep a positive attitude, make some adjustments and ask
again.

"That" that does not kill you, makes you stronger.

Have a great and blessed day.

Eileen :)
www.bekansas.com
www.buddywebworks.com

Private Reply to Eileen Brown

Sep 05, 2007 2:45 pmre: re: I need your honest opinion please#

Stephen Gill
Hello Eileen,
Thank you for your response. To answer your first question the reason for the small age group was only to show some kind of focus. Also it was because this was the age range of the majority of respondents of my surveys. Your question of whether anyone in that age group has enough experience is a valid point to consider.

As for the experts to cater to the said age group, my hopes was actually to believe that there are still some "older" experts willing to help some enthusiastic and sometimes younger entrepreneurs.

I appreciate your honesty on the look of the site and the fact that the text content needs some work. I will keep a positive attitude and have definitely gotten stronger after my "spanking" here. :)

Adjustments will be made and I will ask again.

Thank You.

Stephen

Private Reply to Stephen Gill

Sep 05, 2007 3:36 pmre: re: re: I need your honest opinion please#

Eileen Brown
Hello Stephen.

Although you probably did not know it - It takes a brave
person to ask for a critique. Believe it or not, all of US
have been there too, in (possibly) almost the same position
you are in.

I am sure some of the folks here remember that surely they
did not have EVERY duck in a row when they started out
either. Almost no one does.

Good Luck to you, see you soon.

Eileen :)
www.buddywebworks.com
www.bekansas.com

Private Reply to Eileen Brown

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