Sprint 2 – The ummm Foundations?
Hi I’m James! I’m a 34, slightly belligerent and from the UK. Between January 2020 – April 2020, I’m building a social network!
Why? Because it’s fucking hard to make new friends and socialise as you get older and I think the world needs a platform that helps with those things.
Will I succeed? Who knows! Worth a shot though.
December 24th – Jan 6th I started laying the foundations for development, SEO and Marketing. I built a basic chat server and chat client.
Previously on James builds a social network by himself and slowly goes insane:
- Sprint 1 – The Foundations
- Sprint 2 – The ummm Foundations?
- Sprint 2 – Nerd Ramble
- Sprint 3 – Cooking with matches!
- Sprint 4 – Now We’re Cooking With Gas!
- Sprint 5 – Robot Uprising
- This Is Not the Sprint You’re Looking For
- Sprint 6 – That’s a Weird Looking Patronus
- Sprint 7 – Corona Stole My Title
- Sprint 8 – Adventure Time!
- Sprint 9 – Now In Technicolor
- Sprint 10 – Refinement
- Sprint 11 – Motion In The Ocean
- Alpha Release 1.0.3
- Sprint 12 – No Rest For The Wicked
- Alpha Release 1.0.4
- Sprint 13 – I Need a Break
- Alpha Release 1.0.5
- Sprint 14 – Just James Things
- Sprint 15 – Wearing My Heart On My Sleeve
- Alpha Release 1.0.6
- Sprint 16 – Warm Up
- Alpha Release 1.0.7
- Sprint 17 – Coffee’s back on the menu!
- Alpha Release 1.0.8
- Sprint 18 – We’re on fire!
Last update, I got some feedback that people didn’t get the “tech stuff” so this time I’m going to try something new and exciting!
I’m going to split this article up into separate articles… Yeh ok, that’s not as exciting as I lead you to believe!
So this article will be an overview and then i’ll do a 2nd post with much more technical stuff that will go into more detail about the code i’ve built and why i’ve made some of the choices I have so I don’t look entirely insane!
You can read it: here
James! Stop Rambling! What have you done since Jan 6th?
Alright, alright. Calm down!
This sprint, I’ve done 18 Stories and a total of 34 points! (Explanation on my first post)
Most of the work is still about laying the foundations, short term that makes it look like i’m doing a whole lot of nothing, but in the long term it makes SoSa much more sustainable and makes it much easier for others to contribute to.
Let’s dive right into the work!
Seem’s really minor, but this little change in the last two weeks alone has resulted in about 20 people signing up to our Beta.
Who would have thought if you make it easier for people to sign up, they’ll sign up!
OK before I talk through this, I just to be clear… i’m not just sat around watching videos, playing games, going for coffee and listening to K-Pop all day long…
As an entrepreneur, it’s really important to develop and enrich yourself, to learn from other people’s mistakes and maybe even use those mistakes to your own advantage.
Most days I spend about an hour watching / reading something about communities, game development, just general entrepreneurial nonsense and I find this helps keep me in check.
First up, was a recommendation. “Tony Robbins – I am not your guru”.
Personally, I’m not a huge fan of American style self help, huge seminars with lots of shouting, cheering and clapping, they feel a bit culty…
Not my cup of tea, but they do a lot for a lot of people and being able to watch from an outside perspective is always really interesting. It’s like people watching.
If you have Netflix, this one is free on there and a good watch. It’s about 2 hours and follows one of Tony Robbins $5k entry seminar things.
It gave me a lot of ideas about the community as a whole, the sorts of people in it and ideas of how to better help people who are struggling with loneliness.
Yena is aimed at helping young entrepreneurs succeed by providing tools and a community for members to connect.
It’s really important to keep myself accountable and my mental health in check, so to help with this I met with Ash and Abby to talk about SoSa.
We had a great chat, and I came out of the meeting with a lot of insight about how I could build a better, more personal community. I’ve got another check in, in Feb!
Anxiety is something most of us have struggled with, It’s definitely something I’ve struggled with time and time again.
Quite a few people over the last year have said really positive things about Nick’s talks so I went along to listen to Nick and his guest speakers:
Tom Watson – Talk Club
Helen Taylor Jay – Inspired to change
Julie Hartnell – The Mum almighty
All 4 were really inspiring and gave me so much to think about, it helped me rethink how i’m working with the community, the problems we all face and I hope I can do some kind of collaboration with them / people like them once we’re live.
I met with TheSire to talk about game nights, when I joined him at the pub he was up to no good and for some reason had tiny hands in his bag??
Anyway we spent a couple hours chatting and we’re going to get game nights running again.
They’re happening every other Sunday at 7pm (GMT) and the first one will be Golf With Friends!
We’re going to be making videos and other types of content from these nights so if you can record that’s even better! Don’t worry if you can’t, just come along and have some fun 🙂
If you can’t afford the game, want to get involved and have a reasonable pc, steam and discord send me a DM and I’ll happily buy you a copy 🙂
Most of you will be using SoSa on your phones so it made sense to get started on the app quickly!
I’m going to be using React Native to build the apps, this allows me to share a code base with other platforms and keep how much work I have to do to a minimum.
For now, all it does it launch and say “Hello World”, over the next sprint I expect it to be connecting to a chat server and working as a chat app in a very fundamental way.
Advertising / Marketing
Can’t build a community if people don’t know about you!
Every update will probably have something about this, it’s an area I have the least amount of knowledge in, feedback is welcome all over but especially here.
I started with our VOOM 2017 pitch video, I rewrote it, added a text to the bottom, got the original voice actor to re-voice it and then resynced the audio with the text + video.
The voice actor was really good, 10/10 recommend this guy and he managed to get what I wanted in just 3 takes!
You can watch the final video here:
Domain Authority: 13 (up from 11)
Page Authority: 20 (up from 18)
Domain authority is important because it’s one of the main ways that Google ranks you when people search for certain keywords. The more people write about SoSa and link appropriately the more Google see us as an authority on the subject.
A lot of the change i’m seeing at the moment is from me redirecting socialsavanna.com to sosa.net over time those greens will fluctuate and over the year they’ll start to settle.
The spam score still hasn’t budged 🤷
Visitors to the website are also up this sprint, averaging around 900 unique visitors a day! And we now have 195 people signed up for beta 🥳
As you saw in my previous post, Facebook have been really mean and I haven’t been able to post our website on there since I bought SoSa.net!
Over the last year ish, we’ve had a lot of conversations and last time we spoke they told me to have more content on the site itself.
I figured adding the blog and updating the homepage should be enough, so I reached out again
Then, about a day later they e-mailed me with this!
So we can finally post on Facebook! That’s a huge win for us in growing SoSa and means I can now advertise the site on Facebook to get more people involved when i’m ready.
James! What About You?
Ok, so I know you’re all wondering about me? What has James done for James this sprint?
The start of the sprint was my birthday so my mum and her husband took me out for dinner, I then met with an old friend for coffee and we hung out the next day and watched John Wick 3 🥰
I’ve been to the gym a few times, but i’m struggling to keep motivation during winter so hopefully more on that this sprint!
I’ve binge watched DC’s Titans and Final Space on Netflix! Played through DooM on Ultra Violence, some achievement hunting on Halo Reach, celebrated my grandads 91st birthday and went out with friends a couple times.