Needs Analysis

Purpose Drives Strategy

Now-a-days if you are going to invest your time and money in developing a site, you want to get the most out of your efforts and understanding the purpose is a great place to start. The purpose of your site can influence

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What is a CMS - Do you need one?

I am not going to reinvent the wheel by trying to create my own definition of CMS and my own list of reasons why you might want to use one. So many have already done this.

Below are several links that provide great insight into what a CMS is why you might want to use one.

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Social Media Integration

The Drupal community has developed several modules that help you integrate your site with various social media sites. For example, there is the Delicious module that will download tags from http://del.icio.us.

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CMS Analogy

What is a content management system? In simple terms, it is typically known as a website generated by data stored in a database. The idea is to store information in a database and serve it up as web pages. So, any system that stores your web page information in a database and presents that information in dynamically generate web pages can be called a CMS. But how do you know which CMS is right for you? One way to determine which CMS is right for you is to use an analogy. So let's us a transportation analogy.
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What is the purpose of your site?

What is the [tip:purpose=the reason for which something exists or for which it has been done or made] of your site, what do you need it to do? One way to answer this question is to put your site into one or more categories. Categories not only convey the purpose of the site but also start the process of identifying site features.

Some categories include:

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Does need equal site?

Do you need a site to meet your professional or personal goals? It might be hard to imagine not having your own custom site. Everyone seems to be doing it, why not you? Websites are an investment and if you don't really need one, your time, money, and effort might be better spent on meeting your professional or personal goals via some other web-based service.

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Learning Management Sites

The instructional purists out there might state that a learning management site is just another way of saying learning management system (LMS). You might be asking yourself "Why would I create my own LMS when there are so many to choose from already?" Good question. The answer is "It depends on what you really trying to do."

I propose that there are two types of learning management sites:

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Media Sites

Any type of site can offer media as part of its content so what is a media site? I think media sites fall into two categories:

  • Hosting
  • Broadcasting

Sites such as Flickr.com, YouTube.com, and Blip.tv provide hosting services. They allow you to upload your media and share it with others. Other sites, like cbs.com, are focused on broadcasting their own media. Then there are sites that utilize the hosting services of Flickr.com but use their own site to display the images and put them into context. 

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Collaborative Community Sites

Social networking has taken on a whole new meaning. Before the Internet and Web 2.0, social networking sometimes meant attending a business cocktail party to meet potential clients or employers. With today’s social media technology, you can meet and greet people in your social and professional communities without stepping out your front door.

The idea of shared knowledge and collaborative projects is reaching new heights with forums, blogs, and wikis. But what is it you want to do? Do you want to build a

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E-Commerce Sites

Buying and selling online has become quite popular. If you are thinking about an e-commerce site, the first questions you should ask yourself are "What am I selling?" and "Do I benefit by hosting my own site to do it?"

Let's consider the first question "What am I selling?" Are you selling tangible goods that need to be inventoried and shipped? Or are you selling a service? And let's not forget the desire to sell access or an entrance fee to your site, often called online subscriptions, each type of selling using different strategies and potentially different technology.

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