Technology: (general intro)
For this Assignment out team is going to utilise 4 different types of technology to achieve the desired site and effect. Our site is going to be a wiki based website on camping in Australia. Although the idea has been attempted before, our team will add and innovate to create a new experience for the user. The technologies that we will utilise have been used before in the camping media side of the internet but because they are so effective we will be utilising some of these things as is.
Search: (allows users to easily search for information on this site)
The search technology has been utilise din many different technologies from forums to email. This technology will be utilise din our product to allow users to quickly find information on specific topics. This will allow users to quickly search the forums or wiki posts to say find out about a camp site in a particular area or about particular equipment. This will be utilised by having a search bar up to top that allows users to type what they want to look for then it will take them to a separate page with their results.
Gallery: (allows users to contribute photos to a gallery that other users can view)
The photo gallery is going to be different from the forum in the sense that it will be just for images. It will be a place where users of this product can go to upload images of a good camping spot a nice view or anything to do with camping. This will allow users to exchange photos between likeminded people with a common interest in camping. Although photos can be added to the forums they will be bound by terms and conditions to be valid to topic unlike the photo gallery where it can be on anything camping related from a camp spot to a nice view.
Wiki:(will be used to post information from our site to our users that is not forum based such as changed to sites and upcoming events)
The first and fundamental technology that will be utilised by our site will be the wiki based blogging style used on the main page of our site. This wiki technology will allow us to give user new information’s and updates in an easy to read and understandable fashion. The wiki technology already will put the latest or newest information at the top with an order chronologically going down the screen. This will allow users to get up to date information while using a style that they are familiar with (such as Facebook and twitter). This style of technology has proven to work by being a part of major website like those suggested before let alone all the wiki blogs that are read every day.
Donate: (allows the user to donate money to the site)
This will be a button on the site that allows the user to donate money to this site via a secure PayPal account. This technology is already utilised in many different organisation that provide a free to use service on such example is (http://www.wowace.com/addons/dr-damage/) Wow Ace is a website that develops add-ons for world of war craft that users can sue for free they utilise the donate feature to get revenue from people who enjoy their product. DrDamage an add-on made on this site runs primarily from donations and is supported by this feature. Because of its success in other site it will be incorporated into our site to allow user to donate if they enjoy the site and want to see it get better.
Forums:(will be used to have info on camping facilities and equipment plus sites.)
The forum will be a major integral part of our site. Our site although will rotate around the wiki it will be driven by the forums. The forums will start with basic information about camping equipment and sites plus camping recipes and so forth. But as time goes on and user contribute to the forums they will start to take on a community feel and will be the main place users will go to find information preciously posted by other users. Other users will also be able to add update and change info to allow a growing of information similar to the way Wikipedia works. Although getting information like this can be incorrect it is based on users wanting to help other users to go to a good camp site or have a good time with family. From camping sites to camping recipes the forum will be the most used part of this site and will only grow and get more important as information and user are added to the site.
Photo gallery API:
The photo gallery API is a piece of technology that will take photos that users have uploaded to the gallery sections and display them randomly on the main page. These photos will be moderated and users will have to agree to terms and conditions before posting anything to this site. The galley API will show users photos from other users to hopefully inspire an idea for a new camping trip or get them to start to think of places they could share with other users. This feature is more for a community feel then to actually provide a service to user unlike the map overlay API.
Map overlay: (map with overlay of local weather details)
For our site on camping we will also be utilising a form of technology called API mash-ups this is where information’s is taking form one or more other sites and is added to your site as a so called mash-up. For this particular website we will be utilising a map feature to begin with that will automatically pin point the user’s current locations and show a map in the corner of their area. This is just the star of our mash-up for after the local map is shown in the corner to the user then a second site information will be accessed and a layer over the top of the map will show local weather details and warning particular to the local map of the user who is online at that time. This mash up will be useful to users of our site for campers need to know the weather last thing a campers wants is to go camping during a storm and get to do nothing. This feature will allow users to quickly and easily see what the weather is like in their area and plan accordingly.
Photos: (for forum users)
In the forum section of this site, users will be able to post pictures with their messages to help elaborate or capture an idea they are trying to make. This can range from photos of camping sites to images portraying an action (such as setting up a tent). The photos will be moderated with the rest of the posts and the users will have to agree to terms before posting images. These images will be used as a form of illustrating an idea or action not for personalization of posts.
Chat: (for help and general discussion)
This product will allow users to have a place that they can go to for quick help in either using the site forum or any particular aspect of this product. This chat function will also be utilised as a general discussion for users to contribute to that does not meet a particular aspect that the forum caters for. This could range from talking about general info with other users (maybe to meet up at a camping site) to asking for more information on how to make a camping recipe taste better.
Advertisement: (for revenue)
For this site the money for this site will be generated through advertisement on the forum and with general posts. Users will not be charged to use this site; instead it will be a free service for people who enjoy camping. The revenue will not be a main part of this site but if funding is needed or sponsors are wanted this is how the site will go about it.
Existing sites: (current products that are similar to our product)
Camping.com.au is a similar site that is trying to target the same user group as our product with a similar idea. The site offers information on different camping locations caravans and equipment with an easy to navigate layout. This particular site does go for the same basic idea as our product but the main difference is that camping.com.au is a very basic website with no real social interaction via users on their site. Our Site will be utilising a forum to allow users to interact and give them a chance to also post information that they believe is useful to other users of our site. This factor will allow our site to have a community feel unlike camping.com.au.
The Grey Nomads Forum is a site that is also similar to our product but The Grey Nomads Forum is aimed at a slightly different target user group then we are. http://thegreynomads.activeboard.com/ is targeting the older generation and typically retired people who are looking to travel. This particular user group is incorporated into our site but our product is not restricting to just retired people our product targets everyone who enjoys camping all ages and types.
Explore Oz is a product that is currently available already that is very similar to our product as well. Explore Oz has an information page similar to our product and a forum catering to the users who use the site. This product also has a link to an online store that our site does not cater for. This particular function was not incorporated into our site but our product does have a help chat function that this site does not have incorporated. The help function will eliminate users getting stuck or giving up on our product as their will be an easy to access help section that they will be able to talk to a real person to get help now not emailed to them at a later date.
http://www.camping.com.au/ (Date viewed 10/09/2012)
http://thegreynomads.activeboard.com/(Date viewed 11/09/2012)
http://www.exploroz.com/Forum/Default.aspx(Date viewed 10/09/2012)
http://www.wowace.com/addons/dr-damage/ (Date viewed 13/09/2012)