Web Innovation 2007: On Building a Social Network

This was undoubtedly the best presentation of the two days. It had information, insights and some great advice. It was by Rohit Agarwal, Founder and CEO of Techtribe. I will try to get his presentation and upload it. He kindly agreed to email it on request.

Here is how Rohit sees Social Networks:

  • mySpace, Orkut – See Me
  • LinkedIn , techTribe – Meet m
  • Facebook – See what I am doing

It is cute but a bit oversimplified.

Web 2.0 is:

Participatory Web

Is not about technology

Is about people

Is about connections

Is about community

Is about self-expression

Is about reach and pervasiveness

Rohit shares some of his lessons learned in building his social network.


  • Build a solid foundation
  • Focus on necessary infrastructure


  • Page load time
  • Server response, latency

Pay attention to:

  • Hosting Infrastructure
  • Email Infrastructure (viral invites, messaging, suppression lists)
  • Usability (Cognitive Behavior, Colors widgets)
  • Think through the flow
  • Driving User Behavior (understand why users behave in a certain way, soft suggestions drive behavior)

That was quite valuable. But Rohit made it even better by covering two more aspects:

Key Hires

  • Performance Engineer
  • System Administrator
  • UI Designer

Marketing is key:

  • Personalized
  • Simple Messaging
  • Clear value proposition
  • Not In your face

This was the best session I attended in the Conference. I plan to check out both techTribe and startTribe. Rohit did two sessions. One in the business track and one in Tech track. Talking to him, listening to him, you know why some of the entrepreneurs are more successful than others. He was cool about admitting mistakes, sharing knowledge and had an easy comfortable informal presentation which was much more like a conversation.

3 thoughts on “Web Innovation 2007: On Building a Social Network

  1. Hi Dorai…I happened to join Techtribe way back in 2006(if I am right), but honestly I didnt see the use of it. Yeah it was still evolving, getting over the startup hangover, yet I couldn’t just figure out what the heck it was for? I tried some technology networking, too few people, too less incentive(remember the value of a network theory 🙂 ).Guess, I have to start searching for the username again, was it sohamdas or soham_das? 😀

  2. I registered to try out. It still has some UI issues. However, Rohit was telling me that they had to change the business model and focus in the last few months. Try it out and let me know what you think.

    As for technology networking, I have been looking at OCC Chennai and a couple of other forums. Isn’t the level of interaction here a bit low? I guess we do better face to face than online. The OCC Bangalore seems to be humming, though.

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