Great Idea RRS feed

  • Question

  • User-1004490012 posted
    I want to develop a site with the club starter kit. A site for College and University students. It is specifically though the clubs and organizations of all the schools. It is supposed to be set up through the different clubs and organizations of all the colleges and universities of the world. I put together a database of all the schools and their website addresses and there are more than 1500 of them. I was thinking of using a whois program to extract all the emails out of the urls of the site, making a list of it, sending them a professional letter asking them for the email to their student services. Then emailing the student services requesting a list of all the clubs and organizations of the school or a site listing them.

    With this information I would design a membership registration for the site to include dropdown boxes asking for country, school and club name, based on those, the site would require a unique code that the students can only get from their club presidents which I will email to them. Bulk emails are so easy now with all these softwares like outlook and whatnot. You see this would make sure that only students can access the site. A site only for students. They would have services like free email accounts which I can get for free at sites all over the net (add supported but it wouldnt matter because they would be of the same domain as my site eg. myname@kampushangout.com) and they would have to come to the site to use it.

    I was thinking maybe the main feature would be chat rooms of course which would be really unique combined with the email accounts because it would be completely filled with students (from all over the world) and It would also include debates which would be inviting different schools to compete against each other on different issues. Debate meaning just a few statement supporting their point of views and whatnot. (maybe even print it somehow, newspaper, magazine) I mean these things are just marketing ploys and they are a dime a dozen. You can create the first few with help from friends and what not.

    There would also be a page where the students could use web based instant messaging system like emessenger. I saw somewhere on the net that hotmail is based on objects that come with their Visual studios. Thats how emessenger.com runs anyway. So they would have email accounts, chatrooms, debates and instant messaging on the same site and it would be all students.

    There are awhole lot of thing one could do with this site but I mean its just an idea. What do u think?
    Monday, February 27, 2006 3:24 PM

All replies

  • User-1029435529 posted

    There are awhole lot of thing one could do with this site but I mean its just an idea. What do u think?
    I think that if you have such grand plans, you would not start with a "lightweight" starter kit.  Rather, you should start with a "professional" kit, such as Community Server.  Unlike the Club Site starter kit, which will not be developed further, the Community Server software is undergoing constant development.  Even better, it's being developed by some of the smartest ASP.NET developers out there.

    (This probably sounds like a sales pitch.  I don't mean it to be--I have no vested interest in Community Server.  Rather, I simply think it would provide a much better foundation for your ideas.)

    Monday, February 27, 2006 10:28 PM
  • User-1004490012 posted
    I dont know. I think the Club Starter Kit would be better. It has all the right features that I need especially with the how the News section is set up, but the cumminity server is the same thing really just have to do the same tweaking. If you think you can do it I can email you the database of the schools. Just let me know.
    Tuesday, February 28, 2006 5:47 PM
  • User-1029435529 posted

    The Club Site starter kit and the Community Server software are not the same thing at all.  They have vastly different goals, and vastly different architectures.  The Club Site starter kits is very light-weight, and you will hit its limitations long before you'd hit the limitations of extensive Community Server.

    It's entirely up to you, of course.  By all means, start with the Club Site kit and see whether you can tweak it to achieve your goals.  However, if you find yourself doing a lot of this tweaking, you should have a look at Community Server and see whether you can save yourself all the extra work.

    Wednesday, March 1, 2006 12:28 AM
  • User-302016627 posted

    Hi SNK,

    How extendable is the CommunityServer?

    I mean is it really easy to add totally new functionality to it? Or is it just designed with forums-blogs-events-photos in mind?

    I looked thru the website but couldn't get much insight. Their FAQ/About is very curt.

    Didn't feel like investing time to register, download code and look thru it. (lazy! lazy!)

    I'm guessing it works off VS.DotNet, and not WebDev2005, but I could be wrong.

    Will appreciate if U could share any info/experience about it.


    Monday, March 6, 2006 12:04 PM
  • User-1029435529 posted

    Will appreciate if U could share any info/experience about it.
    I haven't used the software myself, but I'll share my thoughts about it.

    First, I think that it is very well named. Its reason for existence is to provide software for building online communities. It does not attempt to be all things to all people (like DotNetNuke) but, rather, endeavours to be very good at what it does.  And this is why I suggested to Code_warriors that if he or she is looking to build an online community for schools, Community Server would provide a much better base than would the Club Site starter kit.

    Second, it appears to be very flexible. I had a small part to play in the reworking of these forums when ASP.NET version 2.0 was released. I made a number of suggestions to Telligent about how it might enhance various aspects of the forums. I expected to be met with the answer, "It's too late to do that," or, "It's too hard to do that." But Telligent was able to get Community Server to do practically anything at all. I was honestly impressed.

    Third, it seems to have a high learning curve.  It is not light-weight software that you can pick up and run with.  Rather, it is an extensive suite of components that provide a lot of functionality, but you do have to learn it.

    For these reasons, I think Community Server is ideally suited to large, community-based websites, because that is precisely what it aims to provide.  Conversely, you would not want to press it into service for smaller websites, or for websites that have few community aspects.

    Finally, yes, the current version (v2.0) of Community Server is based on ASP.NET 1.1.  The Roadmap for the software shows that version 3.0 of the software will be based on ASP.NET 2.0, and that release is expected this year.

    Again, I myself don't have personal experience with the software, so the above is simply my impression of the software.

    Tuesday, March 7, 2006 1:14 AM
  • User-1004490012 posted
    You are right. The club starter kit is quite difficult to work with when it comes to such a huge amount of users plus it is quite difficult to add on to it. I tried to add a News and Events sections but it it is not very easy since the whole kit is riddles with its own bugs. I have began looking at the Community Server and will now attempt to add a News and Events/Calender sections. However I took a brief look at the Dotnetnuke and noticed it already had these components but comparing the interphases of the two, CS looks and feels much more professional than DNN. I have however seen some sites based on the DNN and they have been modified enough to look professional but offerall  get a feeling of superiority of the CS over the DNN, with this project in mind offcourse. What is it about the DNN that pales in comparison to the CS and what is your opinion on comparing both keeping in mind the project at hand.
    Friday, April 28, 2006 2:49 PM
  • User-1029435529 posted

    What is it about the DNN that pales in comparison to the CS and what is your opinion on comparing both keeping in mind the project at hand.
    There are two main differences between Community Server and DotNetNuke.

    First, Community Server is much more focused than DotNetNuke.  CS is designed to create community websites, where its forums, blogs, photos, and files are built right into the core of the product.  DotNetNuke is designed to create virtually any website, where a developer can mix and match a variety of modules.  You can still use forums, blogs, photos, and files, but they are add-ons, they are not built into the core of the product. So, for a website that is intended to be a community resource, then CS would be a better choice.  But for a website that has different intensions, then DNN would be a better choice.

    Second, Community Server has five full-time developers working on its code base.  DotNetNuke is a great product, but its volunteer-based core cannot compete with Community Server's daily development.  A program manager for CS tells me that when it comes to bug fixes and product enhancements, Telligent will jump through hoops to get it done. In my own experience with these forums, that seems to be the case.  So the commercial nature of CS will mean that it will always be a more polished product than DNN.

    Finally though, here are three things that DNN has that CS does not.  First, DNN is much more extensible than CS.  If you have goals that CS will not meet out-of-the-box, then DNN will be much easier to extend than would CS.  Second, DNN allows online editing of website content, when CS does not. This is currently being added to CS, but it won't be available for a while yet.  Third, DNN is based on user controls, where the code is "there to be seen and edited".  CS is based on server controls, where the code is hidden away and is much harder to edit.

    So, which would I recommend for the project at hand?  I would recommend DotNetNuke.  Its architecture is much more flexible than Community Server, with a wealth of add-on modules than you can find or buy.  Its allows online content editing, where the teachers and students can edit content themselves, which will be vital to your project.  You can buy books that will explain DotNetNuke to you, which will make it much easier to use.  Community Server has next to no documentation, which means you have to scour through huges stacks of code in order to figure out how to use the thing.

    In summary then, CS is a relatively limited product that works out-of-the-box.  But if what's in the box is not exactly what you need, then you've got a hard job ahead of you trying to extend it.  DotNetNuke may not be as polished as Community Server, but it is much more flexible and much easier to use.  So for what you have described, I myself would go for DotNetNuke.

    Friday, April 28, 2006 9:27 PM