Pakwheels the hottest community site in Pakistan revolving around cars is reaching a big mile stone of 100,000 Registered Members, We will be reviewing this portal and what makes it tick. We would mostly be focusing on the site itself and some reasons of its success and not at this time about the business and revenue model.
For those of you who are un ware of the site (and seriously the only way you have not come across this would be that you did not google for cars in Pakistan either new or second hand in last five years) pakwheels is a highly active portal catering to every one who is interested in cars from any perspective, be it for buying/selling used cars, getting the latest prices of new cars, or just looking around for classics in cars and mods people do. Some of the impressive stats of the portal are:
Pakwheel has a pageview number of 10 million per month, its in the top 100 sites visited from Pakistan according to alexa. There are about 300 bikes and cars submitted for sale every day!! and the already mentioned figure of 100,000 registered users (just about).
Site was created in 2003 initial focus was to get together car enthusiast to gather together and discuss any thing on wheels, it is said to be founded by Mr Hanif Bhatti. And soon it became the single place for every thing related to wheels, from used cars
Content wise if you have any queries about cars in Pakistan there is rarely any question which will be left un answered, I was impressed by the details placed on the site, I casually had an encounter with the site 4 years back when i was looking for a car for my self, and noÂ doubtt helped me reach a decision then (I bought a Hyundai Santro new for those who are curious ) based on some reviews, but now when i get back to the same section it gives out impressive details of even the size of rim and tires, weight torque etc. Technically speaking the kind of information available on the site no single person or organization can keep updated.
The success behind Pakwheels is its very active community, the members not only actively visit the site, they meet physically there have been numerous pakwheels get together in all major cities of Pakistan, they have successfully organized rallies featuring rides of members.
There can be multiple reasons for such a successful community based site in Pakistan (I have yet to see another site claim this title), Technically speaking these things are viral in nature but some of the things that might be (again even if you ask the social networking gurus there is no set formula for successful community based site, there are few dos and dontâ€™s and that’s all that exist),
* The openness of the site i donâ€™t have to be a member to benefit from the rich content, this is a good thing if i like it enough and if it fuels my passion I can become a member but until then there are no close doors for members only (posting on a forum is one but all else is open).
* They have very successfully taken the online community and built an offline community which meets on regular basis has races rallies and other activities, the offline branding is pretty strong too with pakwheel T-Shirts and car stickers moving around in town raising curiosity.
* They have picked a niche which had enough passion in it to drive the members to take it on its own, they are not trying to be every thing and nothing, they are clear very clear to their visitors what they are and what content the members can find on the site.
Over all its the most successful execution of community based site i have come across in Pakistan to date, It would be great to see some other sites replicate this community based.
Ohh bye the way i guess some one at Wateen also is trying to copy this check out http://autos.wateen.com but again for community sites the catch up can only happen if you can gather a mass of of followers.