I'm thinking about starting a website.
October 5, 2011 3:53 PM Subscribe
I've been toying with the idea of starting a website that's sort of half forum, half store. I have a general understanding of how the web works, but I haven't done anything web design-ey for about ten years, and even then I was definitely quite amateur. What would I need to do to get going?
posted by Scientist to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
So I had this idea, the other day. I was thinking of keeping it sort of quiet for now but I guess I don't mind being attached to it.
I'd like to have a website wherein people could talk about the problems of the day (rising unemployment, concentration of wealth, environmental destruction, etc.) and create slogans which would help to raise awareness of these issues and/or encourage people to take action against them. The idea would be to have a forum (not unlike Metafilter) in which anyone could propose a topic that was worth attention, which the members would then try to boil down into a punchy slogan suitable for printing on a bumper sticker or t-shirt. Then, once a consensus had been arrived at, we'd print up the bumper stickers and/or t-shirts, stick 'em in an online store, and ship 'em out to anybody who wanted to buy them.
There's a lot more to the idea than that (much of it in terms of philosophical, financial, and plans for long-term growth should it become successful) but that's the skeleton of the logistics side of it. Problem is, I'm quite out of the loop on how people go about starting up this kind of stuff. I'd love it if there were some cheap-and-quick way to build up the basic functionality for this, at least for its early stages, that was functional and easy to throw together. I'm not looking to raise a ton of venture capital, I don't have much capital myself, and I don't really have any of the relevant technical skills (though I'm willing to learn some if necessary).
How would I do this? I don't mind if things aren't totally automated and scalable, hopefully by the time things needed to scale there would be a bit of money banked up to move to a more permanent and fully-functional home. I do want it to be run from its own domain rather than hosted as a subdomain of some other organization, at least the forum part of it. I don't care if it's ugly, even Craigslist-ugly, though my preferred aesthetic is something closer to Metafilter's own layout. (I also like flat discussions. I feel like threaded conversations tend to fragment and make it much harder to reach consensus on a topic.)
I just don't really know where to start with all of this, and I don't know what resources exist at the moment to do this stuff. What is out there, what do I need to know, and how do I get started putting it all together so that I can figure out how to do this? Also, are there any examples of people who are doing similar things? (In terms of format, not necessarily message.) I'm not looking for detailed instructions, more to be pointed in the right direction. Any recommendations or pointers will be greatly appreciated.