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Building Interactive Website Including Video And Text Messaging


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Hello,I have set up the following project for myself. I would like to be able to build an interactive website for a small business where I would like to include imbedded video conferencing and instant text messaging and where everything is regularly updated. I will be most grateful if someone could point out to me the stages of learning to achieve this. Where is my first starting point? And where do I go from there. I am not particularly gifted in the IT department, but this would be a great and rewarding challenge.This is a great resource, thank you very much to the people who thought of it and those who contribute to it.Thank you in advance for help and suggestions! :)

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Hi and welcome to the forums.The first question to really ask is how do you wish to maintain this.Are you going to be building this for a "client" or for a company that you own or work for.Although many folks here will tell you what to learn and in what order, lets take one thing at a time and do first things first.If, for instance, this is something that you will maintain on your own for said company, then there is a quicker (not necessarily the best) road that would suit your needs well.If, however, this is for someone else and it is something that you want to develop and then walk away from, there is a slightly more completed situation to consider.So, having said that, who will be maintaining this and how often?

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Skemcin,Thank you. I will answer your questions to the best of my abilities (that is if I understand what I am being asked):

The first question to really ask is how do you wish to maintain this.
I would like to be able to control what happens on the website from home.
Are you going to be building this for a "client" or for a company that you own or work for.
It is my own business that I would like to bring to the 21st century. I would like to give the option to the client to have as many sources of communications as possible. I am working from home so I am available 24hrs a day.
If, for instance, this is something that you will maintain on your own for said company, then there is a quicker (not necessarily the best) road that would suit your needs well.
What would be it?
If, however, this is for someone else and it is something that you want to develop and then walk away from, there is a slightly more completed situation to consider.
No, it is for myself. But I will be most grateful if you tell me what is the situation to consider here.
So, having said that, who will be maintaining this and how often?
I would like to be doing all the maintenance myself as often as it is required since I work from home where I run my business.Thank you!
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Ok.The easiest solution is to learn XHTML, CSS, and Video/Image processing. Build and maintain a static web site. This means you can avoid all the complexities of databases (SQL) and server side programming languages (asp, php, .net, coldfusion) altogether.The better solution, should we be talking about a decent amount of information (videos), is to learn XHTML, CSS, Video/Image processing, SQL, and a server side programming language (asp, php, .net, coldfusion). This would make managing the information much easier and make it easier to expand and extent your site.Now, I'd have to know a little more about what your needs really are to understand how to better advise you, but you could start with one client and build what you are envisioning for them - as a pilot program. If you pick everything up naturally and say to yourself - man that was easy - then pull in a couple more clients.Once you have say 5 or 6 of your current clients using the pilot application, you should be able to gauge if what you have initially built will work for everyone else. Then you can revisit your model and decided how to move forward - i.e. introduce a database into the application.If you want to chat some time, send me a PM, or keep posting in this thread. I don't know how much information you want to "expose" about your business and/or clients.

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Good afternoon Skemcin,Thank you for your reply and for the patience you have.I have never been very good at taking the easiest option, although sometimes it may be the best.The better option is more interesting, challenging and perhaps the one of more interest to me. If you are going to learn something new, learnt it well. And then lived to regret it! ..... Joking!It is just a friendship website that I want to develop, but I will send you a pm with more details. It is definitely not the next dot.com boom and bust.Thanks!

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Fair enough.As we talk, just be sure to set and manage your expectations appropriately. If you go for the more complex approach, it will take time - even more time if you want to do it right. If you plan on doing more things like this, then I would suggest following the "right" path and not be tempted by the fast path.What I mean is simple, you could sit down and hit the ground running. But you'll really want to start with outline what you need to accomplish and how you intend to accomplish it. I can help you understand that - but then you'll be left to obviously go out and do it.For example, you will need to understand what technologies you will need to learn and how they will interact with each other to accomplish your goal. So, first, you will define your goal so I can help you understand the technologies you can use to develop it. I'll be open about my biases but objective overall.Sine you're starting from the beginning, you'll need to generally understand the entire live cycle of development to get this done right. In the end, you will maintain your sanity and develop the confidence to march forward.

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Nice - just replied to your PM.For the sake of making this thread meaningful to the community, you could document your experience here. That may sound crazy and overkill, but it might make for some interesting reading to some. Sort of your own little blog.(just an off the wall idea)

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Nice, I read the pm. A lot to think about and put down on paper. In the meantime I will do the following and in the next day or so I will put it together and post it:

  • I will look at the social networking sites you suggested and draw from them the services I think would be beneficial for the site.

  • I have already spoken to a few people regarding a format that they would feel comfortable with, i.e. the sort of question and how they would like to be matched. I will create a profile based on the questions.

  • I will look into Section 508 compliant.

  • I will look into the "actors" and define their functions.

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Hello Skemcin,I hope you have had a good start for 2009 and let’s hope the world will be a better place to live.Sorry it has taken me longer than I expected to put something down on paper. It has been harder than I thought which makes me appreciate a lot more when I troll for websites on the internet.Here is an outline. Not very formal as yet, but I hope a start.The functionality of the website. Target audience: All groups of disabled people.Site's purpose: To bring together people with disabilities to communicate and make friends.Actors: Guests, members, administratorWebsite Functions:Guests:1 Access to welcome page2 Access to registration page3 View of random profiles4 A random view of who is online5 A single search for members and profiles, i.e. if the guest would like to do a second search s/he is directed to the registration page6 To see a corner with some testimonialsUser:1 To complete registration and profile2 To edit registration and profile3 To search for members and profiles using profile criteria4 To upload personal pictures5 To download friends’ pictures 6 To upload video 7 To share video 8 To send invitations to join user9 To contact members via emails10 To keep email history either sent or received11 To contact members via online live chat12 Access to text-chat, i.e. To join other members via online live-text-chat13 To keep record of people contacted via online live-text-chat 14 Access to web-chat, i.e. To join other members via online live-video-chat15 To keep record of people contacted via online live-video-chat16 To join discussion groupsAutomatic Administrator:1 To approve registration2 To send confirmation of registration via emailAdministrator:1 To review registration for authenticity2 To review and qualify profile3 To have control of searches for members and profiles4 To review and approve photographs personal pictures5 To review and approve video 6 To contact members via emails7 To create discussion groups8 To discreetly police members using online live chat9 To discreetly police members using online live-text-chat10 To keep records of people contacted via online live-text-chat 12 To discreetly police members using discussion groups13 To approve testimonials before been posted on the webRegarding the registration and profile forms, which define the searches criteria I thought of the following after looking at some other websites.1 e-mail address: (This email address will NOT be visible to other members)2 Choose username: For login in purposes and your profile 3 Choose password: 4 Confirm password: Include user agreement, I think this important even though it is just starting with 60 or 70 friends (maybe a few more!)I do not know what you think of this, but most of the people that I talked to were reluctant to give their real names. They want to preserve their anonymity. They are quite happy to post pictures and videos. I guess, I am in the same boat.To build a profile of the users, I thought of the following requirements:1 Gender To be selected from a pulldown menu2 Age This is to be chosen from a pre-set form and would help me in the end to see what age group is using the site 3 Language To be selected from a pulldown menu, there are about 5 different nationalities involved so far!4 Country To be selected from a pulldown menu In order to group the users, I thought if they selected the disability by which they are affected, i.e. 1 Developmental Disabilities: Autism, Down syndrome, Dyslexia 2 Mental Disabilities: Anxiety Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Learning Disabilities 3 Physical Disabilities: Visual Impairment, Hearing Impairment, Mobility Impairment, Amputee, Growth Impairment 4 Chronic Illnesses: Asthma, Cancer, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, DiabetesWhat do you think? Am I on the right track?

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