Facebook Profile Website

I’ve tried the advertising-only website before with FancyBlog.com, but the income wasn’t worth the effort and interest waned and invariably so did the site. I see more potential on this new advertising-only site, and hopefully it can become pretty big if I play my cards right.

The new site is called FacebookProfile.com, which is a Facebook tips/tricks/fan site.
Facebook is a social networking site with massive popularity amongst the college population. It’s clean, fast and constantly adding new features. Noah from OkDork works at Facebook and is always ranting about “How awsome my job is” and “How cool it is to work at Facebook” all the time.

I didn’t want the site to look like a blog, but I love the functionality of blogs. So to make posting easier, I used WordPress, but created a custom design theme that imitates the Facebook design:

FACEBOOK SCREENSHOT:
FACEBOOKPROFILE.COM SCREENSHOT:

This way when people stumble upon the page via search engine or link, they know for sure it’s a Facebook-related website…without even reading a word. Since search engine traffic is already rising quickly (even after only a few days of being online), this is important.

To create the site I:

  1. Installed a regular WordPress system on the FacebookProfile.com domain.
  2. I literally took a screenshot of my actual Facebook profile from the internet, then Photoshopped it to include the WordPress blogging elements (Pages, Categories, RSS Feed etc.)
  3. Started writing a few posts just to keep some content on the site for the programmer.
  4. I then found a WordPress designer through RentACoder who could retool the website to look like my Photoshopped rendition of the webpage. This cost me $220. I probably could have got this done cheaper, but I paid more to get someone who could do the project quickly, had a high ranking on past projects and prior experience with WordPress.

The idea for this project came randomly while I was searching for domain names for a different project. I also remember reading about a whole cottage industry that revolves around MySpace custom templates, images, text and media add-ons….and thought Facebook might eventually move somewhat in this direction.

I’m still working on bugs, such as how to prevent WordPress from auto-formatting my Facebook ASCII Art text….but those are just small hurdles. The site has already been getting 50-100 unique hits a day, which is not bad for a non-advertised site which has been up for 7 days.

So FacebookProfile.com has officially been launched….not much content as of yet, but more to come!

Blog posted on: May 31, 2006

56 comments on “Facebook Profile Website

  1. Tim MMF

    Great idea, some of those “pimp my myspace” sites have been doing very well. Best of luck to ya.

    Reply
  2. Marco || Share Trading

    Good stuff Nev! That $220 was worth every cent. It’s a neat design and it would have saved you a hell of a lot of pain and suffering by designing it yourself.

    How did you get 50 visitors to a site without advertising it? So i guess this domain isn’t brand spanking new?

    Reply
  3. Anonymous

    I’m confused here. What’s the purpose of this Facebookprofile.com site? It seems like you went through a lot of trouble to make it look like a clone of Facebook. Is your intention to try to siphon off traffic from Facebook?

    Reply
  4. Anonymous

    For a big entrepreneur you claim to be, you have not put out a single idea of your own. Everything, allt your so-called ideas have been a knock-offs, copy-cats, me-toos. Seriously, you are jumping around like a jack rabbit looking for crumbs someone else has left. Much ado about nothing!

    Reply
  5. Darren

    For commentor #6, Anonymous:
    I’ve seen you comment on Nev’s blog before talking about he hasn’t done anything radically new.

    Take a quick look at the great companies of the world: Dell, Microsoft etc and see if they’ve done anything new. I think not.

    Also, take a look around the internet at any Ecommerce website. Anything completely new there? I think not.

    You’re looking at all of Nev’s projects in the wrong light.

    Reply
  6. Jason

    You always come up with good ideas Nev. You once said you write down several ideas a day, would you mind sharing these?

    Reply
  7. Anonymous

    Darren, Dell & MSFT have done something very new in their early days.
    This so-called project though couldn’t be more copycat, just look at it. Grief!

    Reply
  8. jonathan radande

    Nev,

    be careful. if things start to pick up, expect a lawsuit. The sites look to similar.

    Btw, you left your phone number on the “facebook mobile signup” post

    Reply
  9. CollegeGuy

    You’re alive! =)

    To respond to Anonymous about Nev’s ideas: ideas aren’t the hard part – it’s the implementation. Starbucks didn’t invent the latte, mp3 players weren’t new when Apple launched the iPod, newspapers certainly weren’t new when Hearst came along…the list goes on forever. I think you’re confusing an entrepreneur with an inventor.

    Reply
  10. Anonymous

    Well, I’ve been following Nev’s blog for a while now, and although my initial reaction to this “Project” was similar to post 6, I’ve got to give some credit and put blind faith into him churning a profit on this.

    But then something occurred to me: let’s say he gets sued, even after a successful outcome, this doesn’t ensure his reputation is stained with being unoriginal. Is this worthwhile?

    Also, could Nev please take the time how exactly he makes money with that site?

    Reply
  11. Anonymous

    What they said. This is borderline copyright infringement since you’re basically copying the “look and feel” of Facebook, which is protectable under copyright law.

    The idea of a website *about* Facebook actually sounds fairly solid, but if you want to stay out of court you’d be better off changing up the design a bit more.

    Reply
  12. Neville

    Facebook most mind for several reasons:

    1.) This site encourages MORE Facebook usage.

    2.) It’s unlikely they would not sue a college student unless they were harvesting/selling information from Facebook.

    3.) Before suing, they would first ASK for the design to be change. If they ask, I will change.

    It won’t be a problem.

    As for making money, obviously I will put Adsense or other advertisements on the left column…much like Facebook does.

    -Nev

    Reply
  13. Dennis

    Great idea Nev!

    I noticed you are working with Mobile Campus. I was the original student that pushed for mobile text alerts at the University of Florida. We were working with a different startup during the Fall of 2004 before Mobile Campus came around. I was very impressed with them and they are be working hard at UF. How are they at UT?

    Reply
  14. Anonymous

    So, you are just trying to steal traffic and, hence, business from Facebook — all the while assuming that they won’t go after a “poor” college student for balatantly ripping off and trying to profit from their work.

    Sounds like you haven’t taken your business ethics class, yet — and if you have, you clearly didn’t learn anything.

    Reply
  15. Personal Finance

    2.) It’s unlikely they would not sue a college student unless they were harvesting/selling information from Facebook.

    Might want to reword that double negative ;)

    Reply
  16. Marco || Share Trading

    I had a look at the real facebook site – and yes they look similar.

    I think you should change the site design. Look at this entry about a blogger copying another format.

    It’s alright to copy concepts i.e. commenter #6, dell, starbucks etc… but to copy the layout is just wrong since it is covered by copyright.

    Reply
  17. Anonymous

    The web address, the web design….are all copycat.
    I do not think that any of Nev’s critics here confuse inventor with entrepreneur.
    I am giving Nev credit for trying, but after watching his activities for over a year, I have to admit that he has done nothing but used others’ ideas with very little or no modification. Nev does not have to have an original idea but he has to put an original spin on it. Nothing , nada. Reaching the lofty goals he has set for himself, Nev has to be creative & innovative. I have not seen that yet. He is just like another worker-bee at the moment (not that being a worker-bee is bad but it is not what nev is striving for.).
    I wish Nev all the best, but I am not going to pretend like many here that I am impressed. I do think those of us here with healthy dose of criticism are more helpful to Nev than those that pretend they see no problem.
    Nev, this blog is putting pressure on you to “produce”, step back and look what you are doing.

    Reply
  18. Anonymous

    You have accomplished a lot this year!

    1) Play dress-up and pretend to be an entreprenuer.
    2) Take many pictures next to “real” successful people and hope that they can put some success juice on me

    Grow up and realize that you’re a flake and fake…

    Reply
  19. Hakim

    Lots of people seem to be persuaded that the entrepreneur is this mysterious and powerful “super-hero” that single handedly build fortune 500 companies in their garage. YOU GUYS ARE WRONG. Entrepreneur is a french word from the verb ‘entreprendre’, which literally mean “to start something”.

    Think about this. Do you need a ground breaking idea to be an entrepreneur? Not at all. Everyday people are getting rich starting new business with old ideas.

    Nev isnt “pretending” he is an entrepreneur: he is an entrepreneur by the simple virtue of having started at least one business project.

    Quit moaning and start something! Anything! Otherwise you are cowards who insult those who arent. Once you have started a few business projects, success or failure, you’ll understand what is the essence of entrepreneurship.

    Reply
  20. Andreas

    Nice idea Nev.

    I would add a larger margin beneth the posts to make the site easier to read. It looks a bit compact right now.

    Reply
  21. Anonymous

    Hakim, cloning an existing business — including its look and feel — is not entrepreneurial. Try throwing up a web site called ebayprofile.com and make it look like ebay.com’s site. I’d be willing to bet that your “entrepreneurial” endeavor won’t last very long.

    Anonymous (hey, that’s *my* name!) has it right when (s)he says: “…after watching his activities for over a year, I have to admit that he has done nothing but used others’ ideas with very little or no modification.”

    And Darren, how you can say Dell did nothing new is beyond me. Dell revolutionized inventory management in the PC business. There isn’t a company in the business today that hasn’t tried to emulate Dell’s business model in that regard (and almost none which have successfully done so).

    *Note: ebayprofile.com is currently “parked” at GoDaddy.com, so you might actually be able to try this “experiment” — batteries, and lawyers, not included.

    Reply
  22. Darren

    Anonymous,

    This FacebookProfile.com site seems like a side project that many people try out. A million of these personal finance blogs do “Experiments” where they put up informational sites for money, Nev is doing that also. Making the site look like Facebook is actually not that bad of an idea:

    1.) It’s already generating all sorts of controversy
    2.) It lets users know right away that the site is a Facebook related site
    3.) Facebook’s design is already clean, simple to use and proven. Immitation is the highest form of flattery.

    If Facebook decides to actually put a law suit over Nev, all he has to do is change the look. I’m sure he’ll have no problem with it, and I doubt Facebook will either.

    And to address what Hakim said:
    You’re correct. Most entrepreneurs start something small that ends up turning into something pretty big. The way I see it, I applaud Neville for delving into so many different businesses….one day he may stumble upon something big. Right now FacebookProfile.com may not be anything big….but Nev took a simple idea with no competition and acted on it very quickly.

    That’s a quality to be highly admired.
    -Darren

    Reply
  23. Anonymous

    I am amazed at the haters out there criticizing what Nev is doing. Who cares that he is creating so many businesses, large or small? I wish I had so many sources of income. Can you say “long tail?”

    Kudos to Nev for his courage and tenanacity to share his successes and failures. I enjoy reading each blog entry, and appreciate his creativity in getting business up and running for little up front costs. It is a perfect way to build a business.

    Keep up the great work, Nev, and ignore the haters. I doubt that they are creating any businesses on their own.

    Reply
  24. Reid Levy

    I think it’s quite a creative idea. I’m not opposed to the design because I don’t feel Nev is directly competing with Facebook. However, if he began a social networking website for college students and used Facebook’s design, that’d be a different story. Best of luck Nev!

    Reply
  25. Anonymous

    “Take a quick look at the great companies of the world: Dell, Microsoft etc and see if they’ve done anything new. I think not. “

    Um.

    Reply
  26. Anonymous

    You foolish haters

    You ain’t like Nev mothersucker, you a punk. Nev been wit made people, connect-a people. Who you been wit? Chain snatching, jive-ass, maricon mothersuckers. Why don’t you get out of here and go snatch a purse.

    Reply
    1. CIOBoss

      That was a nice Al Pacino/Carlito impersonation. So funny I spit out my water. I doubt many people got that Carlito’s Way reference.

      “Chain snatching, jive-ass, maricon mothersuckers.”
      classic

      Reply
  27. me2press

    Nev is doing a great job. It’s not only about orginal ideas most big companies started by doing a spin on something that already was there. Look at Richard Branson and Virgin. He started selling a student magazine and then he placed an ad to sell records in the back of that magazine and the records did better then the first idea. This has made Richard Branson very rich, he goes into many business and and tries his own spin. Good job Nev anyone who takes the time to try something will do well in life.

    http://me2money.blogspot.com

    Reply
  28. Anonymous

    And tonight Facebook.com is in the news. Possible connection in a murder investigation. Not the company itself but users of…..

    Boy so many here still think that DELL, MSFT, SBUX were not innovative but that Nev is with his blatant copying. Pretty sad when folks do not see the difference.

    Reply
  29. Anonymous

    I can’t believe that you guys don’t find his ideas original. I mean, the pixel square sale was a classic! Oh, wait….. (btw, weren’t those pixels supposed to cost $100 a piece by now?)

    Nev, be sure to let us know when you get the cease and desist letter…it’ll be coming from Chris Kelly, Esq., Facebook’s General Counsel. Of course, I’m sure you will just chuckle and say that this was another grand “experiment”.

    Reply
  30. Anonymous

    Nev, Just read your article on site-refernce.com and came to your site out of curiosity. The facebook site you have, you need to add meta tags, specifically a meta description tag that way when you search for it on google you get the description you specified not some text from the page that makes no sense. If you need some coding advice feel free to contact me http://www.nexgentec.com

    Marcel

    Reply
  31. Anonymous

    I got an idea for you Nev, why not make a copy Google.com and put adsense ad on the side.

    Grow up. Your idea of facebook is not an idea it is theft. Go back to sell’n water.

    Reply
  32. Dmitry Chestnykh

    Neville, just wrap your ASCII in [pre]…[/pre] (replace [] with angle braces) tag and that’s it.

    Reply
  33. David Askaripour

    Nev,

    Your ideas are SOLID, dude. All these people trying to kill you on this comment thread are just jealous that they didn’t think of it. I like the way you think — it’s DIFFERENT! And that means that you’re not a ZOMBIE doing the same old things.. Just keep on doing what you’re doing — don’t stop!

    David Askaripour
    Mind Petals

    Reply
  34. Anonymous

    Hey Nev.

    I’m a big, big fan as well.

    Don’t let these people discourage you.

    I would like to welcome you to a discussion forum that I just started, and hopefully others here will be interested as well.

    http://businessideasforum.runboard.com/

    Hopefully, we can all help each other with, niche, win/win situations.

    Keep up the strong work.

    Reply
  35. Nicola Justice

    It is working!!!!
    All the people that have posted comments have taken the time to check out Nev’s site and facebook so therefore giving them both more hits & business. Yes the sites are the same … so the man is not creative but by the time Facebook does or does not do anything about the coping it will already be a topic of conversation and people will go and check the site out. I still cant figure out how you are going to make money but am sure there is something up your sleave, so college boy have some fun and see where this life ride takes you.

    Reply
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  40. Bez

    I though its againts FB brands. Well me my self are too scared to doing so, registering any domain with FB words. wew not gonna make any trouble. Keep in safe area lol

    Reply
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  44. Alec Heath

    Are you allowed to copy Facebook’s design? I love the idea though, it looks awesome and its a nice idea. You could do one for Google+ as well, plus that is newer so would be beneficial to more people as not too many people use in comparison to Facebook.

    Reply
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