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There is a Medical Community in our town that I would like to approach to build a web portal for them. It could be free or they could pay me for it. Honestly, I'm really after of the community that will be growing on the web. User can interact with other user more efficiently, so since it's a health related community a lot of people can benefit of the information that will be generated by the community(most of them are doctors). The content can be in a form of a blog post or forum discussion. Now my plan to get a revenue for this is I will put some ads on the site.

Few question in mind are: I assume they would like to get the portal free and not expecting the site to earn. They would just like to have a website were they can interact with the community/people. That I think would be their main goal, Since most of them are not into web.

Should I approach them to do a partnership or similar? (they get a slice of what the site earn ) or Not giving them a slice, What would you suggest? What would be proper?

I need some advice If that would be a good approach, If you have some better ideas, I would like to hear it.

Thanks!

-- Please excuse me if this is not the right section to post.

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6 Answers

When I read "... that I would like to approach to build a web portal for them ..." the red flags went up. They haven't come to you (or your competitors). They don't know they need a web portal. My experience is that people aren't interested in hearing about solutions to problems they don't know exist.

Instead, try going to them and asking them what problems they have that could possibly be solved with some programming. Then develop a proposal to solve that problem. It might be something entirely different than a web portal.

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You could offer to make the site for free in exchange for the earnings for the next X years and after that split the revenue. I'm not sure if it's the best way, but that's the approach that I would take.

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yeah sound great. –  x1 x1 Aug 29 '10 at 18:05
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In my experience, doing work 'now' for some kind of equity or compensation 'later' almost never works. What usually ends up happening is the project becomes a weight attached to your ankle.

I'm not saying don't do it, but I would:

  • Not expect a lot in return from the site itself. Perhaps doing this could be a catalyst for additional projects that pay conventionally?

  • Make sure maintenance and modification of the site is as simple as it can be, ideally to the point that someone other than you can handle it.

  • Avoid going out of pocket completely to get things going. This includes hosting, domain registration, paying for graphics / plug-ins / theme / etc.

  • Set a limit for how much time you're willing to spend on it and stick with it.

Ideas like this often look great on paper, but usually never end up producing as well as anticipated. Again, if you manage your risks (which is currently just your time) it sounds like it might lead to other opportunities.

What you don't want to become is the 'person who does sites for free or next to nothing' :)

I wish I had $5 for every time someone said "Come on man, you could do this in like three or four hours, I'm sure!". Three or four weeks later that usually proves not to have been the case :)

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I suggest you start by finding someone in this "community" to talk to and learn what they want and need.

It's much easier to make money if you identify people who currently want something and are willing to pay someone who will give it to them. Trying to talk people into paying for something they don't understand is really really tough.

If you really want to build a web portal, don't bother trying to talk anyone else into it, just build the thing and work like crazy to make it valuable and useful to people, and then, after it's got value to people, can/should you start thinking about monetizing it with ads or memberships or whatever.

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Take a look at ActiveSocial. It's a complete Social Networking solution built on DotNetNuke. It can be a great solution for building a community that goes well beyond Forums and Blogs.

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Your idea of building a web portal for the medical community is great. I agree that it should have an article section where members can contribute there ideas, as well as a discussion forum where actual interaction can take place. To this you can add a business directory, where medical practitioners and suppliers can advertise their products/services. Also, it would be great to have an event section where medical seminars, conferences etc can be listed. The revenue will come from two sources a) Banner Advertisement and b) Premium listings in business directory.

To build this system you need a web portal CMS which is optimized for user generated content and monetization. You may choose from following alternatives:

  1. http://www.edirectory.com

  2. http://www.blackmonk.com

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