Sara and I had a discussion last night over supper, hashing out the business plan for the project. The most important conclusion was that I need to use the app with a couple of small user communities before any sort of general release. That helps me focus my efforts on some very specific features.
- Get a start-to-finish set of transcription features and the basics for annotation.
- Install the app on DreamHost.
- Load up the already-transcribed 1918 diary and the untranscribed 1932 diary.
- Begin work with various relatives on transcribing the 1932 diary and annotating/indexing the 1918 diary.
- Fix any bugs this reveals.
- Develop any bare-bones social features like to-do lists and progress bars needed by that user community.
- Photograph and load a document recording minutes from a Primitive Baptist church my great-great grandparents belonged to. This is a document of interest to local historians and genealogists, so should be a good opportunity to get a diverse and large-ish set of users.
- Ask for volunteers from the Pittsylvania County Historical Society and VAPITTSY-L to transcribe the minutes document.
- Incorporate application feedback from those users
- Analyze usage patterns to try to predict hosting costs
- Build GA features like work management tools
- Begin limited hosting for works owned/managed by other people.
The immediate development lesson to draw from this plan is that transcription features need to be built first, then printing and annotation tools, then social features, and last the works management features.