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Mother and Toddlers Information XChange

FROM: Paul Chapman

What NEED does this meet?
Actually this one came from my sister who as a mother of 5 and a teacher has some experience of this.

Basically this would be a kind of Mother's Information Exchange. Now when ever Mothers meet and the various offline groups they are invariable talking about problems with their children.

It would also provide a portal for more official information to mothers regarding there children such as the current controversy over combined immunisations such as MMR.

There also should be a facility for off-line groups to give the place and time of meeting.

What is the APPROACH?
The site essentially will be a forum combined with a news element.

The forum would need some form of database backend but the news site can be done with XML

What are the BENEFITS to people?
There's no second chance with being a parent. You have to get it right first time, so any help would be useful and sometime children choose the most awkward time to have some problems. So being able to pop on the web and check what others have done can be a help.

What is the COMPETITION?
A lot of Groups have their own websites but a search of Google with 'Mother and Toddlers' esssentially gives details of the groups but very little actual information exchange.

There is http://www.parentsplace.com but again this is one way, anyway it is American.

http://forums.parenthood.com is probably the nearest thing I've found. However again this is American and therefore information with a UK slant is not available.

What BUDGET & LOGISTICS are required?
This is not a complicated site and none of the technology is complex. It should be possible to reduce the costs of running it by selling advertising.

A database would be needed and licenses for SQL Server are not cheap. (£2,500 per annum IIRC) It does not need the complexity of .Net as there is no need for web services so the whole thing can be implemented with SQL Server, XML, VBScript and Javascript and ASP

November 6, 2003 in Children, Connecting People, Perhaps Government Remit? | Permalink


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I don't think there's anything in there which would need a commercial database. PHP and a Free one would serve just fine, which cuts your costs a bit.

(Hmm. I wonder if openACS would be a good way to build a lot of these "portal" type sites?)

Posted by: Chris Lightfoot at Nov 6, 2003 9:51:07 PM


You are correct, SQL Server is one of the more expensive back end databases.

I could use other ones but being a PC developer I tend towards PC databases such as SQL Server and Access. Mind you MySQL can be run on a PC (for a small fee). In addition I am working on a way of using a combination of JavaScript and XML for backends since while I develop most of my software on PC's most of my client sites are hosted on Unix and I'm currently negotiating to take over a Football related site which will need a forum and a news site with a Contact management system.

Posted by: Paul at Nov 7, 2003 12:17:28 AM