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Database driven, online subscription service with geolocation – Ivan Stamatovski

Database driven, online subscription service with geolocation

on Mar 10 in Blogroll, Slider, Web Projects by

While designing a website for a client who was into racing pigeons I got intrigued by this sport and an obscure niche community that follows it. Turns out there is a lot of money involved and the top races had prizes that went north of $1 MM! At the same time there was very little social network  infrastructure built to connect the fans so I decided to step in.

I spent first few weeks researching the topic and got every book from the library that had any insight into pigeon racing or breeding.

What was out there?

It looked like there were a few popular applications that could be purchased online that allowed for keeping track of the loft, the progeny and race results. They had rudimentary interface and were all sold as desktop software.

I studied them and took notice of the what was well executed and what could be improved. My application was going to be:

  • - Web based
  • - Have integrated geolocation services
  • - Be a platform for a community
  • - Provide instant gratification (printable pedigree)

To make communication with the programmers and web designers easier I planned out the user interface and navigation and created mock-up pages.

These mockup pages were used as guidelines for designing the interface pages and navigation of the service. There was close cooperation between the database programmers and web designers and I instituted mandatory weekly conference calls to detect potential problems and and solve them.

My potential clients were a demographic that uses computers but isn’t very savvy. Interface had to be clean and self explanatory.  It had to be as simple as possible.

Through surveys I ran on popular forums I found out they seemed to be very skeptic of online monetary transactionsand internet scam.

Benefits of the “cloud”

There are many benefits of an online application – access anywhere, remote data backup, multiple accounts, price, but the biggest one by far is that this application becomes a platform for social interaction. It can display aficionados on the map, let them communicate, trade goods and ideas and organize.

Next phase

I was able to sign up about 200 users in the first year just through word of mouth and some guerrilla marketing techniques. They were literally from all over the world – from South Africa to Canada. The next step would have been to enable trade, make a sort of a pigeon ebay.

Unfortunately, I ran out of funding and life just took we in a different direction so I pretty much abandoned the project. At one point I was close to selling it to an investor from Florida who was a member of Loft Organizer, but he backed out for personal reasons.

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