SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Community Advisor ULTiMATE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    Posts
    2,160
    Mentioned
    46 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Working on new website in the education sector

    To put a long story short, earlier this year I suffered an accident, ended up having to retake my CS degree from the start and have a lot of free time on my hands considering all the work I'll have for the next 2 years I've already done. My new timetable seriously hinders my ability to get a job and because of the healing process of my accident no one seems to want to hire me. I recently came up with a brilliant idea for a website that could really benefit students, and due to my lack of being able to get a job I thought it'd be a good idea to put my web design/development skills to the test and get this site off the ground. The last amazing idea I had ended up with me not creating it (Second-hand gig/concert ticket exchange) and some company came along and made it big, so I'm going to actually go through with this one.

    I've done some small and the odd big job for some clients, one huge one for a large gaming and media network, but I've never started up something on my own apart from forums. My idea is fairly complex in development, but easy in idea and after pitching the idea to friends and lecturers they've all agreed that it'd be a fantastic idea and that they'd recommend people to such a site.

    A few questions:

    1) How would I go about getting a website off the ground and promoted? I've promoted forums before, but that's mostly been through word-of-mouth and hasn't really generated any large numbers (100 unique a day perhaps). This website is something that could greatly benefit loads of people if taken out of my head and onto the Internet.

    2) Obviously the Internet is an extremely hard place to earn money from a website, especially a start-up without great financial backing. For those who have created businesses before, how long did it take you from getting a website up to breaking even? I don't expect to earn big from my idea, but breaking even is a definite aim for me.

    3) As my website will use user-generated content it would be handy to know who owns the rights to that information. Due to the nature of the content it 'could' come from an unreferenced source when coming from a submitter. What is the best way of dealing with plagiarism with dynamic content?

    Thank you all in advance for your help.
    Last edited by ULTiMATE; Dec 28, 2007 at 16:56.

  2. #2
    phpLD Fanatic bronze trophy dvduval's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Silicon Valley
    Posts
    3,626
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If dealing with students, I would think real interaction with students on campus could be very effective. Doing everything through the internet may be a tough road.

    As far as plagairism, make sure there is a way for someone to report infringing content, and write a good TOS for your site.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    98
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Could you tell us a bit of the great idea about your website? It is better to say specific advice rather than giving a general one for I may miss the point.

    Promoting forums could be done on forums as well. Try interacting with people by quoting something from your website and then linking it back to your website as your reference. This way, people will know how to get answers from if they have any questions about that subject.

    I'm sure you will get break even when your site has become known. Its just a matter of time in which I have no specific time frame to tell for it all depends on how your site has developed.

    About plagiarism, as dvduval already said. Make sure that you list something in your TOS that whatever was contributed to your website that is out of your knowledge then the site is not liable to any problems it may arise. I don't know if that is possible but just to be safe.

  4. #4
    Community Advisor ULTiMATE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    Posts
    2,160
    Mentioned
    46 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I wish I could give more information, but I've been sworn to secrecy by the other person helping me develop it. All I can really say is that it's a collaborative tool and will help a lot of students with their courses.

    I'm a keen developer, and have made quite a few websites using PHP, ASP, MySQL, Oracle, etc. Sadly, I've always been fairly terrible with promotion and marketing, and as everyone knows the best made websites aren't the popular ones. I really want to just dive into this, but I know that if I'm not prepared it'll all go downhill and scare me off of trying again with any other ideas. Most start-up and bootstrap blogs that I've read seem to focus on what to do once you've got a product already working with members, aside from actually starting up.

    What I guess I'm asking about is what to do once the finalised product is up and running with minimal bugs. How would you promote a business from the start?

    I've already decided that I'm not going to create a domain, name it, or do any promotion until I actually have a website there. I'd hate to be another of those websites that operates in stealth mode for ages and loses all publicity after a small while.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    98
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It's a good plan, to wait until everything is up and running before you begin to publicise. There are too many that gather dust and content becomes old before you get real visitors.

    I would work on the usual SEO techniques for a start; think about your page rank, which needs link backs. But given the intended audience you should try offline promotion too. There might be a way to get a newsletter out to the students perhaps, on news groups. Put notices up on bulletin boards-target your marketing as much as you can.

  6. #6
    Community Advisor ULTiMATE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    Posts
    2,160
    Mentioned
    46 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Considering that it's an education website my original idea was to have the website created, then to start off with just a Blog to talk about the opening process, as well as open information about how the website was made. I guess that an article on how the actual website was made would be a great resource for those wishing to learn about such stuff. Hopefully the Blog itself would pick up some visitors and eventually once the website is checked for bugs and finalised it could open for visitors. My knowledge of SEO isn't brilliant, but as far as I remember it takes time, and having ever-growing information would do wonders to get a new website off the ground and slowly in the air.

    Thanks for all the help. I'll be sure to send some letters to a few Student Unions and see what the response is. Firstly, it's time for me to brush up on my PHP skills and get down to making this website!

  7. #7
    SitePoint Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    98
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The two things that will be important for you are SEO (which needs keywords) and page rank (which needs link backs). Other than that like you already plan will involve actual contact with places like the SU.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard esds's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,255
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Dealing with students- facebook just comes into mind.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    98
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yes-Facebook marketing is something that I have yet to get to grips with. But with something like you are talking about it would seem perfect-make a group for the uni, or subject that you are pushing. There are many ways to network through Facebook depending on the specific site.


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •