and potentially a new source of income, for a bum. Just as many IT workers, I was let go in 2002, and since then have not been able to secure a full time job. My background is more on the lower bowels of the Inet (infrastructure, comm & security) of 20+ years, but have enough programming experience to be dangerous.
I have been following search engine optimization way before it became even a niche industry. I followed to rise of the spam "industry", the deployment of business on the web, and watched multi billion dollar investment backed web sites disappear, while shoe-string operations rake in 2 to 3 thousand percent profit margins.
I believe I have found a niche that has not been filled and can make a small business on it.
To deploy I have jotted down my thoughts on what I will need to do.
The concept is as follows -
- Select the appropriate technology. The forum software, and portal piece. It has to be flexible, and cannot lock the site into itself.
- deploy an online community with a unique interest to attract eyeballs
- make sure that the unique interest has sufficient user base, (for example
- buggy whips are really cool but there are too few people interested)
- Do not initially, or ever charge for visitors
- Generate sufficient amount of content to start discussions
- Get news (RSS, XML, etc.) feeds to trigger new discussions
- Make sure advertisements are managed appropriate throughout the site, and are unobtrusive
- Usability is a key element
- Find the right key phrases, and get site listed on appropriate systems
- Once eyeball momentum is sufficient, enlist members to be moderators
- Reward moderators
- Reward frequent posters
Right now I am at 1.
Here are so far my selections:
Discussion software: phpBB. I have tried various other ones and phpBB seems to be the most user friendly from the visitors' perspective, and most flexible.
Portal/Content Managment: I truly am not sure if there is much difference between a small portal software and a large content management software. I am leaning toward mx portal because it doesn't touch phpBB at all. I tried the *Nukes and the required hacks and modifications completely destroy the concept of modularity (if there is such a word...).
I am very much of a freak for usability and am a follower of Jacob Nielsen, as much as possible. I do understand the need for a slight "appeal" but not too much.
So. I have the unique topic. I also have the software. I need to do some touch-up to make it look appealing and more "flowing". this part I am not too good at. I am a propeller-head, not a fashion designer :sad: .
Once the site is up and working as I want it, I will get a new domain name, and deploy it on there.
Am I missing any key elements in the process? Do I have my head backwards?
I do know I WILL need eye candy experts to mess up the site, just don't know who can.
p.s.: I have been running a closed online community for over five years reasonably successfully. It is not profitable, it is not fancy, and definitely for techies. But it is a running community.
p.p.s.: Why have I popsted it here on DaniWeb? Because I have searched the web for various phpBB related, web site deployment, etc. discussion groups and this site seem to have the most relevant posts.