6 lessons learnt from launching a Passion Project - Twantrum

On December 6th James Aviaz, Rhys Edwards and I launched a little side project, Twantrum.com. The website used the Twitter API to search for keywords of people having outbursts at brands over Twitter. It ended up with over 10,000 page views in 14 days. It also cracked into the Top 5 Most Popular Articles of the day on The Next Web with over 500 RT. . The great thing about running little side projects is that you walk away with a number of learnings from the process. Here are my top six learnings.

1. Success was in telling the story
The major reason this idea succeeded is because of the great write up that was given on The Next Web. Twantrum.com was the kernel of the idea but it really needed someone to explain it in detail. James was lucky enough to know CBM at TNW who thought it was worth covering. I think that this is one of the biggest oversights with people launching ideas online, they don't think about locking in that big first story.

2. Double the amount of time needed
The original idea came to James in August, we thought we would be able to knock it over in 2 weeks. This project seemed simple, all we had to do was come up with the keywords, design the one page website and simply code it. It was actually a rather long process, the fact that this was a side project and we all had full time jobs, blew out the amount of time it took.

3. Line the idea with hooks
One of the things that I have noticed in my short time of getting ideas out there, is that you need to give people a number of different hooks into the idea. People love a good name. Twantrum got to the core of the idea really fast. The new old technology formula (old symptom + new technology = name) is always a winner (check Boost Mobile Textaphrenia)

The other major hook was the different levels of Twantrum, having a Mel Gibson level as the top, gave it a bit of cheek and another thing for people to talk about.

4. Talking about Twitter on Twitter is always going to be fruitful
The one thing that everyone on Twitter has in common is that they all use the technology, any story about twitter is always going to get a high propensity of RTs. This theory holds strong over other platforms too - Reddit and Redditors Wife Meme always does well.

5. International Audience
You would be surprised by people translating an article into another language how many additional views that will bring to a project. We were lucky enough to get the idea picked up by a Spanish Marketing site.

6. Ideas have a 48 hour window online
Content moves fast online and as like most ideas we had a 48 hour window where it saw a lot of eyeballs after that people moved on to the next thing. There is no real slow build with these type of projects.