Proposal (draft)

Below I will introduce the ideas I have had for my project. I will build upon these ideas in order to write the final proposal.

The main idea

My initial idea was to produce a website similar to Last.FM, the online music community. After doing extensive research and testing of Last.FM, I have decided that although there are elements of the website which could be improved or changed, there is not enough wrong with it to justify building a competition website. Also, I do not yet have the abilities to produce a fully working PHP website.

Therefore, my idea is to produce a more basic website, but still based around online music. I hope to produce a smaller and simpler online community, allowing users to create an account and hopefully upload music or files to share with each other. The main focus to start this project will be creating the user login in PHP. If I can successfully create this, along with the database required to make this work, then I will also consider making the website more elaborate, with other aspects of PHP included such as a forum.

Research 

Research into other online communities such as Myspace.com or Facebook.com have shown me which areas of online communities are most popular. The ability to interact, for example, is very important, as users tend to use the website more if there is more for them to do. User generated content is also very important. In social networking websites such as those stated above, most of the content is actually user generated, with the option to change photos, write blogs, chat to one another and share files or pictures. Due to the fact that I am new to PHP, I strongly doubt that my website will have these elements included, but any useful information I pick up on the way might help me to expand the website and include some of this interactive content.

There have been many different inspirations for this project. Obviously the main inspiration is Last.FM. I have been a fan of this website for over a year and frequently use it, and it has heavily inspired many of my projects. However, other inspirations have been websites which are not online communities as such. For example, Pitchfork Media is a music news website which provides up to date information about music as well as reviewing lots of new releases. I would like to combine this news element with the online community idea.

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