How I built it: Oneposte

Back in April of 2018 I was hired to build out a small social network, for a chap who wanted a platform for his family and friends to connect on, share media and message securely.

The original (yes, original), name of the project was BrilliBlog, and I built some pretty comprehensive functionality into their child theme – you can see more about the first time I wrote about this client on my post.

After multiple Skype conversation, I began to know Harrison (the client) a little better. We spoke business-ey things and ice hockey a lot, which lead to a hot question, “what if BrilliBlog could be more?”…

How?

Harrison had the most amazing idea, what if there was a social network that paid users to share content and not take your money for specific features. Wow. I was speechless, but also worried about how this would work.

After a few weeks of research we hopped on a call and discussed what he had found, and the research was flawless. The vision was clear, and the path we were going to take to build it was also clear.

The idea

We wanted users to be able to come to the platform and share content and media for free, but get paid for it.

Again… How?

Harrison knew a lot about Ad Networks and how they worked, and I have the experience setting up APIs. So, with the Ad Networks, we would connect to multiple APIs and grab their ads based on the network paying the highest CPM (Cost Per Mile).

With a little research and some simple maths, Harrison came up with a fixed rate for every piece of content viewed:

$8.96 per 1000 views (or $0.0086 per view)

That’s a solid rate. So if you’re not already a social influencer or a content creator – now’s the darn time to change that!

Once the user earns over a $5 threshold, they are eligible to release their funds directly into their PayPal account. Cool huh?

The name and slogan

We trialled many different names against multiple logos to see how they would fit together, until we had a name, but not a cool logo… Oneposte.

This name stuck out like a saw thumb, as it all started with one post. One post on Upwork, one post on social media, one post on the platform.

With the project getting closer to launch, we had to get a slogan. Taking a look at potential competitors, we needed something more profound.

  • Facebook – “Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.”
  • Twitter – “Yours to discover.”
  • YouTube – “Broadcast yourself.”
  • Reddit – “The front page of the internet.”

How the hell are we going to beat this? Oh yeah, Harrison pulled another gold nugget out the bag:

“Fuelling your next adventure.”

No revisions, no nothing. It works, it sticks, sold.

The build

BrilliBlog was originally built on WordPress, so the plan was to stick with WordPress and continue extending the functionality to make the platform as secure as possible, while maintaining and complying with the core functions of WordPress.

Ever heard of a social network being built on WordPress? Me either, but it works and it works friggin’ well.

The build consists of 4 main sections:

  1. View tracking
  2. Trending now
  3. Ad Networks
  4. Payments

When I say “main sections”, I mean the big, the bad and the ugly sections to build – due to the extensive time it took to build them.

View tracking

Being the root and sole function behind Oneposte, this needed to mastered and tested multiple time to ensure this worked. We didn’t want users coming to Oneposte and not getting what they were promised.

I used WordPress’s built in AJAX files and functioning, so that when the post was expanded it would track a view to the author of the post, which would sent two key pieces of information:

  1. User ID
  2. Post ID

Note: Post analytics isn’t something that we have yet spoken about, but this may a feature available in the future.

When the view is added to the authors meta using update_user_meta(), we also updated the users wallet balance.

We also needed some kind of security level behind this, as the user could just make 2 different accounts and keep sending their content views. So, we came up with a logic and implemented it:

If the user has already sent a view to this post, don’t track another.

Trending now

This was the page we tackled next, we wanted to have a discovery page for people to find new people to follow, new posts to engage with based on specific factors and metrics:

  • Post engagements (views, likes and shares)
  • Via category
  • Based on the users content (related content)

Getting this done was fairly simple using WordPress’s WP_Query() function and adding some custom parameters and meta queries.

Ad networks

This was by far one of the longest features to implement into Oneposte as I had to set up a CRON job to check every hour for the ad network sending the highest CPM and update a field in the database, so that this value could be retrieved to display all ads.

Again, I used WordPress’s update and get meta functions to store this data.

Payments

We needed a backend payment system in place that was fast, efficient and secure – we chose PayPal as our provider as their API is super flexible and easy to install.

On the sign up of every user we publicly display the Terms & Conditions of the platform, and in there it indicates that all users using Oneposte must have a PayPal account to withdraw their wallet balance. So, on sign up, the user is asked to provide this.

When the users wallet balance matches or exceeds $5, a button will be displayed ‘Withdraw wallet’ and the user has the opportunity to withdraw funds directly into their PayPal account via the email address stored in the database.

The main reason we chose PayPal for our 3rd party payment vendor, was so that we didn’t have to worry about storing personal information such as addresses, bank details, etc.

Beta release and full launch

Currently, we’ve got a landing page where only 15,000 users are able to sign up to get full access to the beta release of the platform that launches on May 4th 2019.

And then… Drumroll…

The hard platform release will be mid-summer 2019 – exciting.

How do I sign up?

I thought I’d leave it until last, because I really wanted to give you a lot of insight about the platform, and the work and endless hours that have gone into Oneposte behind the scenes.

You can sign up by going to Oneposte.com and all you need is your full name and your email. We also promise to not send you any promotional emails until we send you your magic sign up link for the beta release.

How I built it: Oneposte
Scroll to top