This article is about the development phase to create the technology part of the geofenced virtual event web site. I’m going to be the one responsible for coding this part out and will show you cats how to do rapid application development to have this virtual event setup and running in several days. As of this writing, I have not written one line of code. What I can tell you and this is from the previous article, the majority of work need to be done in the solution approach phase. That is where all the knowledge, how-to and approach need to be defined and established. As an experienced person in this tech game, I can assure you there is no such thing as a good programmer who sits at a computer and start cranking out code just like there is no 11-year old computer whiz kid which is all made up crap. Tools We Will Using Most of these tools are free and I'm using a $300 Windows laptop computer I had for years. The web hosting fee is about $15 to get started. The templates and image library is under $100. So to be honest we talking about $100 and because I don't have cable and use MetroPCS, that means I can spend that extra money instead on helping create a virtual exchanges between the sistas to help them find new channels for economic development. Please note you may need a Hotmail or Outlook.com email address from Microsoft to access their software below. And please, don't come at me telling me you have a MacOS and you trying to be an entrepreneur in the same sentence hoping you can make me laugh..thanks. Visual Studio - http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/eng/downloads#d-2010-express Note: Use WinRAR to unzip the ISO Visual Studio will be used to create the web pages and code to drive the interactive features. I will be using ASP.NET, C# and for database connect, I will not be using LINQ (we do not use LINQ for web sites) but just the System.Data associated classes. The NET version we will use is 4.0 due to GoDaddy hosting systems using this version. I’m going to use my professional edition of the software but the Express version can do the same functionality we are going to do. SQL Server 2008 R2 Express - http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30438 This will be the database engine I have on my laptop computer to create the database tables and scripts. This is a very powerful database and have strong capability for so many hustles. In addition, this software can set apart cats who sitting around just reading Dream and Hustle and cats learning this stuff, putting it on their resume and making $90K - $130K doing this stuff for a career. Expression Design - http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=36180 Microsoft made Expression Design free to download and use which was a commercial graphic design software. I recommend you download and save this copy before they remove the link. Although I have PhotoShop, I really use this software which is better than GIMP and Paint.NET and more powerful. HustleSpace magazine is using Expression Design free software for our print magazine and web operation. Team Foundation Services Online - http://tfs.visualstudio.com This is a web service that is used for source control. This is probably the best free service out there because before, you would have to pay at least $200/month for this to host code and source control online. But this is free and up to 5 users which is still powerful. With TFS online, this is the tool you use to work with an outsourced team. For example, I can add just one user in India, another user in Philippines and have a whole team develop over there but only one check in their code and changes. This is how you can create and also manage your web site operation using global resources. Wrap Bootstrap - https://wrapbootstrap.com/ There is little need to create HTML from scratch and to be honest, it is a stupid waste of time. Don’t you ever focus on creating HTML from scratch as you have to be good enough to create HTML that works on big desktops, small mobile devices and handle international audience and you are not that good, admit it. The market is already filled with talented cats worldwide who can make HTML for cheap and sell nice templates that can be customized to our needs. We are using wrapbootstrap templates that cost around $5 to $15, which is cheaper to buy versus build. GoDaddy - http://www.godaddy.com GoDaddy is very economical around $5/month and very good in our opinion. At the time of this writing, GoDaddying having a sale you can buy a Deluxe hosting prepaid for an entire year for under $50. We are using the Windows (not Linux) hosting and even Dream and Hustle was moved to a Windows WordPress. The article that went viral about the Chicago House Music had over 100,000 views in one day on their deluxe plan and did not go down like our previous crappy host, Network Solutions usually would. But the biggest advantage is the SQL Server 2008 installation – this is very powerful to run web services with data driven logic. Plan of Attack After creating the solution approach, the next phase is actual development of the software and make things real. This is the part where the talking about the solution ends the actual doing something about it begins. Here is the thing about implementing solutions – you are not going to be perfect the first time around and you have to keep doing a second and third phase. This is called iterative development, doing things start to finish and then check the mistakes the first time around, going a second time around and doing it start to finish with less mistakes. This is the real world of getting things done. However, in the Black community our people are used to thinking you got to be perfect the first time around then want to make fun of brothas and sistas while they are progressing. Then you got these fake hustle bloggers and Black Enterprise magazine trying to show some perfect picture of accomplished successful Black entrepreneurship with pictures of them smiling and crap. I’m a real cat in this game and here on Dream and Hustle, this blog is about showing you cats you don’t need to be perfect but understand how to reduce mistakes on your way to success. From our experience in developing software, the absolute best way to create software or apps or web sites is from our hard-earned experience. Create the user interface first and foremost to demonstrate the concept to consumers and potential partners. Then once the users like what they see, then work on the code and data. So let’s break down the phase. Create Working UI Prototype. We will use the wrapbootstrap to create the conceptual web site. However, I need to add a feature that show the countdown to the launch date and also show a sign up notification where people can add their email address. This is probably your first coding lesson from me on how to create code for this project and will update on this blog in a separate article. So once we have the UI prototype up and running, I can contact some of the partners and show them what we are doing so they can jump aboard having something real to see. Create Business Layer. The business layer is actually the code. For example, the code that saves the registration information, allow vendors to login the system and dynamically display the virtual booths and process the geo-location feature. I will code all of this in Visual Studio locally and run the web site locally and when I get to a point I’m happy, move the files into TFS online and then publish the files over to GoDaddy. Create SQL Database. Once we know how the web site will flow, then I will work on the database. Trust me, nothing is more frustrating than keep going back and change the database scripts, tables and all that other stuff so that is why we do the database as the last step in the process. I create dummy data in the business layer phase and once we see it working, then move it to the business layer. Technical Strategies for the Virtual Event Keep in mind that we are in the year 2013 and most of the information out there about building web sites and other technology stuff is pretty dated. For the upcoming virtual event, we obviously had to do homework and I even scouted out the area for research so know, we are not doing anything blind here. What we do know is our customer will be using mobile devices to access the virtual event service. We also know in the social network age, images are more important than text to share around as a form of visual marketing. So with that said, let’s talk about the our technical strategy. Focus on Touch Elements. We are going to need big buttons that are noticeable on the small mobile device that can be touch on a touchscreen. Elements like drop-downs and select boxes and even text description fields are going to have to go away. So expect to see more touch UI elements instead of forms. We will be using search feature and that is about but most of the other functionality will be touch. Focus on Images, Less Content. Putting a lot of text content on a mobile device is not going to happen either. People are coming to a geo-fenced virtual event to sit down and read, they come to interact and play with their mobile device. So we have to incorporate more visual elements and even typography which is an image version of text. Focus on Social Network Connections. The goal of the virtual event may not be to make financial transactions between virtual attendees and virtual vendors and that may be unrealistic in our short time frame. We have to be honest about people will do in a public space and entering their credit card number on a mobile phone in public is not something I have confident everybody will be doing. Holding both their credit card and mobile device in a public area – come on now, that is too dangerous and risky. Social Network Marketing Strategy The first thing my quiet sideline haters are saying behind my back is that I cannot market to enough people in a few weeks With social networking marketing, experience has shown to focus on 1 to 2 weeks in advance. The longer you promote an event on social networking, results have shown to be negative and turn away people. This is important for you cats for understand and a lot of fake social marketing cornballs do not realize this and I’ve seen people and their events flop hard pushing too hard on social networks. The most effective way to market on social network is to use visual marketing which will be done on Facebook, Instagram and PInterest. We will create an image with text similar to the meme images and will spread this around social network. Then the sharing effect will kick in and compound and this can happen in a matter of hours. Understand this and in addition, I do not need to market much, just piggy-back, something the quiet sideline haters keep failing to realize in this whole setup. Next Step The next phase is to get to work. I will be updating the Sista Sphere article in the Projects section planning and as of the writing of this article. I have not written any code, I’m just talking to you about what I’m going to do. But keep in mind that marketing is happening in parallel and the first step is to create a workable demo and be able to show and tell to recruit the vendors and other players only.