Ran into the first technical problems. Zope Page Templates aren’t working well when people use non-standard (ASCII) characters. There’s a few other things I don’t like about them so I’m going to make a switch to Cheetah.
Archive for September, 2006
Well, I’ve just the set the site live. I’ve called it a beta so people won’t complain too much if something goes wrong.
I’m sitting here now running
tail -f on the Apache log file (this will show me when we get our first visitor). I feel a bit like a party host who’s waiting for the first guests to turn up, I’m pretty confidant that people will come but there’s always that shadow of a doubt that nobody will!
I’ve been doing some research to try to find the best hosting company for the site. I am going to need full control over the server because I’m using quite specialist software.
I had a quick scan through a very large number of hosting companies but quickly narrowed it down to three:
The choice was narrowed slightly because not all hosting companies will accept
The winner was clearly Jaguar PC who will do a Virtual Private Server (VPS)
which will appear to be your own dedicated server, with full root access, etc
but in reality the machine is shared. The price is an amazing $19.95 per month.
They’ve also got some good deals on proper dedicated servers so I will be able
to upgrade later when the site grows.
I don’t really believe appearance is everything, which is just as well because I have virtually no skills in graphic design at all. I also don’t have any budget to hire a designer.
I think the quality is better than some templates that I’ve paid designers for in the past.
I’ve been thinking quite a bit about how I’m actually going to get people to join my site. In the old days we used to used to quote Field of Dreams “if you build it, they will come”. Unfortunately I don’t think that was true then and it certainly isn’t true now.
What I’m going to do is collaborate with my community to get them to build a constantly growing, vibrant, interesting and relevant website on swinging. Everyone says this of course but very people actually do it. I think one of the very important things about working with a community is not to try to charge people fees - imagine if Wikipedia or MySpace had tried to charge their community members subscriptions! I know this seems obvious but all of the highest ranked swingers site do presently charge fees.
A really nice side effect of building this sort of community is that it will naturally end up with very high search engine rankings. As I said in my last post, 5 million searches a month are done for swinging so I don’t need a very large chunk of these people to sign up for my site to make my 1 million members in a year target.
Of course I still need to kick things off. I’ll start with my friends first and then their friends. I’ll also blog and put the word out on the various forums and I’m sure that will get the site to the stage where the search engines will pick it up.
Does that sound sensible? Let’s hope so!