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Working On An Idea... ...in need of an evaluation


HiddenKenshin

I often find myself wandering in between ideas on building a website. There's just so many option, and to be honest, I've seen fresh, new and great ideas burst out to be successful, but also less "positive" ideas become popular. All you need is a good idea and a proper execution of it...right?

 

Where I love, there's a fair share of "older" people, somewhere around 50-65. Most of them are retired and have found an outlet in teh compyootah. Or teh intahwebz. However, they seem to have some kind of "button-syndrome", much like the "white-coat-syndrome". They're afraid they might screw something up, they don't know how stuff works, they can't figure out how to install their printer, they don't know how to secure their machine, they're not too savvy in english IT terms (I'm talking about a Dutch country here, Belgium).

All too often have I been called to help, since my parents are of the same species. Old, curious yet reluctant and ignorant. They get so grateful, for installing a plug and play printer, that they often give me some money. Although much appreciated, I don't always accept it, if it's a rather simple job.

So I think it's a bit of niche.

 

So here's my idea: I attempt to create a community driven site, that features a vocabulary list, tutorials, links, freeware programs, hassle-free explanations, a simple forum, perhaps even the possibility for users to create their own, miniature blog. IT would be neat if people could eventually help each other through the forum, I could set up even more functions that appeal to the older generations, such as the possibility to find old classmates... That last feature needs a huge community, but I'm just thinking out loud. I'm a decent writer in my native language, and have experience in dealing and explaining things to people who haven't had the chance to be raised among a plethora of buttons. I could make articles on what lives on the Internet. Older generations feel left out all too easy, whereas they're damn crafty and experienced people who shouldn't be disregarded that easy.

 

I would appreciate some feedback on this.

*Do you believe it could work? I have a small "following" of people who would register right away, and I know some channels to use.

*What would you recommend on using this? My skills as a programmer are far too dodgy and flawed to make my own back-end system, so I'm thinking about a decent CMS that can implement lots of stable modules. I'm familiar with Drupal, but there is not much of an option to integrate a forum. I would also like a different CMS that handles page creation and user management a little more fluent and search-engine friendlier. I've had a go at phpnuke a long time ago, but found it too unstable and lacking features to like it.

*Any other possible suggestions that I should implement?

*Any things I'm really overlooking?

 

Then there's the thing about money. What, to me, is very offputting on a site, are "premium" memberships. I would like everything, but really EVERYthing to be free. Most older people here have no clue as to what PayPal is, and creditcards aren't that common here, either, anyway.

Input MUCH appreciated!


WeaponX

I haven't played enough with CMS, but Mambo is supposedly a great choice. It could integrate with forums also. I know it works with SimpleMachines Forum.Not sure about the blogging feature. The ones I know of requires the users to create their own accounts. So they should at the very least know how to register for a free account. Maybe they can post a link in their signature back to the blog if they wish?Don't worry about starting out with a few members. If your site has good content and your users refer other users, it will all come together.If you want to have some income flowing from this, you might have to put up some ads. They don't need to use a credit card or anything. Just click on a ad if they like it. I recommend using Google's Adsense program. Be careful about "telling" your users to click on them. You should never do that and doing so may risk your account being banned by Google.Do you want to make a profit from this? If you are just worried about the webhosting and domain expense, then just get free hosting here at Xisto. There are no ads in your webpages (although, you may add them if you wish ) and the hosting packages just got better. Or you can just invest like $10 (less) on your own domain and have it point to Xisto.


HiddenKenshin

I haven't played enough with CMS, but Mambo is supposedly a great choice. It could integrate with forums also. I know it works with SimpleMachines Forum.
Not sure about the blogging feature. The ones I know of requires the users to create their own accounts. So they should at the very least know how to register for a free account. Maybe they can post a link in their signature back to the blog if they wish?

Don't worry about starting out with a few members. If your site has good content and your users refer other users, it will all come together.

If you want to have some income flowing from this, you might have to put up some ads. They don't need to use a credit card or anything. Just click on a ad if they like it. I recommend using Google's Adsense program. Be careful about "telling" your users to click on them. You should never do that and doing so may risk your account being banned by Google.

Do you want to make a profit from this? If you are just worried about the webhosting and domain expense, then just get free hosting here at Xisto. There are no ads in your webpages (although, you may add them if you wish ) and the hosting packages just got better. Or you can just invest like $10 (less) on your own domain and have it point to Xisto.

Awesome! Thanks for having the time to look over my ambitions. I'm pretty confident on an influx of users. I've not yet fully explored Mambo, but will certainly try, thanks for suggesting! I'm also pretty comfortable with SMF, and find it richer on features than phpBB.
As for hosting, I'm really sticking with Xisto, I might eventually get a domainname, but that's after I got some profit.
I'm not driven by income from it, but it really, REALLY would prove helpful, yeah, as I'm just another poor college student, heh. Thank you!

saneax

Even though your idea is very nice, it takes a lot of money besides effort to get it running and accessible. Internet is a piece of a big Jigsaw puzzle, which somehow, takes time to open up. Drupal to me is obvious, and you say it doesnt have integrated forums. However, it does have forums. Its much easier to create pages and extend help. A Lot of older people cannot even search properly. Sometimes there keywords are non-technical, and hence they cannot search for a solution. I think it will take up an army of old people to define what they need, and I guess some day a smart old man will make a better job for their community. Already there are deferent forums for so many different things, grouping them together in one place would be aesthetically difficult to navigate and use. my 2 cent..


HiddenKenshin

Even though your idea is very nice, it takes a lot of money besides effort to get it running and accessible. Internet is a piece of a big Jigsaw puzzle, which somehow, takes time to open up. Drupal to me is obvious, and you say it doesnt have integrated forums. However, it does have forums. Its much easier to create pages and extend help. A Lot of older people cannot even search properly. Sometimes there keywords are non-technical, and hence they cannot search for a solution.
I think it will take up an army of old people to define what they need, and I guess some day a smart old man will make a better job for their community. Already there are deferent forums for so many different things, grouping them together in one place would be aesthetically difficult to navigate and use.

my 2 cent..

How do you mean, a lot of money? What exactly would need to be paid? I mean, I have the hosting, already, and I won't be paying anyone to work for me...
As for Drupal, it has a kind of a forum, but seriously, it lacks a lot of functionality. Also, I won't be dragging in older generations that don't have a need for a computer, it's the people that are interested in the phenomena of Internet and computers (those that can operate a search function to the very least). But again, I am quite confident in attracting the right audience. That's not a problem.

And there ARE indeed a lot of different fora, but in ENGLISH, that's a "speedbump" for most of the older people around me, few know English well enough, and the Dutch communities for older people are fairly limited. There is only one that I can think of, in fact.

As for defining needs, I have a bunch of things in mind already that seem in demand. More functions can be added along the way. I need a basis to start from, anyway, don't you think?


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