It's a well known fact that you have approxametly 4 seconds to make someone like your website or they're gone. I just wanted to let you in on a little secret. People get overwhelmed with the toys you allow them to play with. What happens to kids when they're given 30 toys for Christmas? They get tired angry and end up in their room without dinner (smirk). Too many toys to play with and the value starts to dissapear the more they open another present just like the first.
Why am I jabbering about toys and Christmas? Simple, when creating your networks and websites there are tons of add ons you can make. there gets to be a point were something new and cool comes out and you blast it on your site like it's gold. We need to keep in mind that we have a specific niche and we need to build our website around our content. Having chat boxes and news feeds and picture shows and donate buttons and this and that and this and that will create anxiety on your site. KEEP IT SIMPLE. Check out my site LTCW, it's simple and only using the basic template and it's calm and clearly displays it's content. Sure I'll add new features as they appear but only if it fits inside my category.
You won't see many if any of my sites with a chat box on the page. I don't need people to talk and I believe it's almost becomes a hinderance. Maybe when you have enough memebers that want to utilize features like this it would be a great idea.
So how much is too much? Well you need to decide that. Just keep it simple and don't go crazy with add-ons. Let the content control your site and you will find your visitors to be loyal. Return visits will burst your site beyond control!
Have fun with it and build!
By Mark Flockhart: The best compliment you can give me is visit or join my network for designers LTCW