Project Case Study: FanBunch Social Networking Website
Summary: The client’s previous agency couldn’t finish development and abandoned the project, so my team stepped in to the save the day — giving the client a site it could use to compete against Facebook for connecting members of niche groups.
Client: FanBunch.com (New York, NY)
Challenge: The FanBunch team wanted to provide a Facebook-like social networking experience for sports fans and other enthusiasts, but without the visual clutter of the major social networking site. The client had a bad experience with another web design agency, which couldn’t finish the project. We saved the day with fresh new UX designs and a well-planned site architecture, launching a site that was ready for FanBunch to promote… and ready for users to enjoy without needing to avoid Farmville requests.
Solution: My employer at the time (Coalmarch Productions in Raleigh, NC) designed and built the new FanBunch site. We used the open source Drupal content management system (CMS), Organic Groups, and Facebook Connect login integration to provide a streamlined user experience with no ongoing licensing costs. Group owners moderate their own groups, freeing FanBunch staff members to spend their time growing the user base, instead of deleting spam and extinguishing flame wars.
Result: The client received a website with key social networking functionality modeled after Facebook.com, but at a fraction of the cost. The site includes flexible user-generated groups, Facebook Connect login integration, automated permissions, and a familiar user interface. As a result, FanBunch users can create and manage their own groups with just a few clicks — and FanBunch staff can focus on growing subscriptions without needing to spend all their time managing the site.
My Role as Web Project Manager: I managed the website project from planning to design to development, as liaison between the client and agency teams. Project management included weekly screen-sharing status update calls with 5-6 members of the client’s bi-coastal team, to keep everyone on the same page.
Project URL: http://fanbunch.com/