We already wrote few words about Twieber, our network dedicated to all fans of Justin Bieber. It is our most successful network, with more than 13.000 members. We were so impressed with it success so we wanted to speak with its founders, Rowan and Ilse, teenagers from the Netherlands, and find out their secrets for creating a successful Shoutem network. We asked them some questions, and here is what they replied to us.
Can you please tell us something about yourself?
Rowan: I’m Rowan, 14 years old and I’m from the Netherlands. My obsession is Justin Bieber of course, haha.
Ilse: I’m Ilse, I’m 16 years old, and I live in a village in the Netherlands. Justin is my favorite singer
Why Justin Bieber? Are you his huge fans or…?
Ilse: Yup, we’re both huge fans! We’ve been supporting him since 2008, but we didn’t make our BieberZone fan site until April 2009.
Rowan: I’m a huge fan of Justin, but if I see him in real life, I wouldn’t cry or pass out, because I know that he is just a normal guy. He’s an awesome kid who’s following his dream, and we’re proud to help him with that.
Tell us something about your other projects and sites related to Justin Bieber.
Ilse: We run a website and a lot of accounts under the name “BieberZone”. Apart from that I have a Cody Simpson fan site as well. I’ve got several other minor projects running too.
Rowan: We also have a Justin Bieber fan page on “Hyves”, which is like the Dutch version of Myspace / Facebook. Our Hyves page has around 65,000 members (mostly from the Netherlands and Belgium)!
Why Shoutem? How did you find about us?
Ilse: Well actually it was Rowan’s idea to come up with a twitter-like website, for Beliebers only.
Rowan: And then Ilse searched for a website maker which would allow us to create a website that looks like twitter, and then we found you guys!
What’s your experience with Shoutem? Would you like to see something changed?
Ilse: My experiences so far have been good, there’s been quite some downtime but of course every website comes across technical difficulties. Maybe IP-block would be useful so that we can actually block unwanted people.
Rowan: I think it’s great, it’s like Twitter, just different. You can decorate everything, it’s awesome!
You have had a huge member inflow after opening your network. Can you share your secret? How?!
Rowan: I just tweeted the link on Twitter and people were talking about it a lot, so it ended up as a trending topic within the first few hours of creation. People were curious and started clicking on it, then they saw the link. They started to make accounts and that’s basically how we got this many members.
Ilse: Yeah, we had this huge platform already – Facebook, Youtube, Twitter. We spread the word on Twitter and that’s how things escalated. I never expected this many people to sign up in such a short period of time. I created the website, and when I went to bed 2 hours later hundreds of people had already signed up. I woke up a few hours after that and more than 5000 people were on Twieber. We were like WOW, this might become really big!
Do you have any plans for the future with Twieber, or some other Shoutem network?
Rowan: Hmm, good question, I hope that it will be huge and lots of people will enjoy it.
Ilse: I personally don’t have a lot of plans with fan sites in general, I’m going to be in my exam year after the summer and I won’t have time to work on BieberZone and Twieber. I’m not planning on becoming a professional website maker or anything like that, either.
What would you like to recommend to other network owners?
Ilse: Try to spread the word on websites that you already have quite some influence on. And also, once you create the network you are the one that people turn to for help. It’s a rather big responsibility.
Rowan: If you have a fan site, keep on doing what you’re doing, just make lots of people curious and just spread the word, get people talking about your site, and then it’ll become big.
Ilse: Yeah. The cool thing about making your fan sites big is that you’re helping the artist, whether he/she knows it or not. You’re helping people live their dream, that’s definitely the best thing about all of this!