Pointers for starting up a Web 2.0 business?

Question by delmontebanana: Pointers for starting up a Web 2.0 business?
The question might be a bit abiguous, but hear me out :)

I currently have an idea that I’m developing that will utilise the formidable userbase of social networks (MySpace, Bebo, Facebook, Friendster, Hi5 etc) to market my “service” or “product”.

Essentially I’d like to set up a website where people can register and put certain details on this site, then for an application/box (that dynamically self-updates when they update on my site) to be present on that person’s profile page of their prefered social network site.

Having looked into most social networking sites, I know there’s a degree of flexibility whereby you can add components onto the page. (facebook API, myspace inserting scripts etc).

I guess my specific questions would be:
Would it be possible to link to my webpage from the social network with a click, are there any costs involved?
How should I go about writing a web application or design a website? Would I need a business angel/VC for this?

Best answer:

Answer by nonlinear
Technology speaking, you are going to be limited by the Open API allowed by each site you want to mash-up. You will also want to look into the AJAX based technology called mash-ups.

Most likely there will be some startup costs for either the equipment and software yourself but you can get up and running quickly with a hosted solution. This is where you pay a company that is already managing several hundred servers to manage one for you.

Other costs may come when you need to get access to richer API or start to get past casual usage. Companies do need to be compensated for their bandwidth usage. I think, for example, Yahoo or Google lets your free account use 1,000 request per day which is more than enough to get familiar with the API but no where near enough to run a business based on access to this data.

Start with a business plan and realistic P&L and that will tell you whether you should proceed or not. The VC is going to ask anyway.

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