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Want to create searchable directory of educators and classes

Need help getting started

2:40 am on Dec 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hi, I'm trying to get some direction regarding creating a directory of "widget educators" and the classes they offer. The widget education professional association has been posting these listings, but may stop doing so and I'm wondering about stepping in with a fee-for-listing directory. It beats sitting around pouting over losing my biggest source of referrals!

I anticipate that the directory of providers is more likely to be searched than browsed, and that the listing of classes is more likely to be browsed than searched. I'm looking for help finding scripts that will do the job, and also a general sense of whether what I have in mind is likely to be easy or difficult for a non-programmer who is very familiar with the niche.

I would like to create listings that can be searched by location, language, and a variety of specialty niches. Each person should be able to list themselves in several categories if applicable. So, if you provide education regarding red and blue widgets, and speak English and Spanish, you should be able to be found by searching for an English-speaking red widget educator, a Spanish-speaking blue widget educator, etc., all in a particular geographic location.

Some of the people listed in the directory will also want to have their classes listed in a widget education calendar, so it should be possible to link directory listings to the calendar - but it should also be possible to have directory listings that don't link to the calendar, and vice versa.

I would like to offer free listings, paid listings, and super-duper paid listings, and also put ads on the pages. Keeping track of link exchanges is not important.

Am I describing something simple, or complicated? Am I likely to be able to do this with an off-the-shelf product or am I looking at hiring a programmer?

Thanks in advance!

8:20 pm on Dec 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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You need not start from scratch as certain functions are standard across most directories. Hire a programmer to customize something off the shelf is my take on what you are asking about.

Or, start from scratch, if you can afford it. ;)

11:11 pm on Dec 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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You can accomplish what you describe with an off-the-shelf software product that includes ASP, Coldfusion, and JSP. (I'm not sure if the terms of service on WW allow me to mention the most popular product).

You'll need to learn the program in order to know how to construct your database queries.

You'll also need a hosting company that has servers set up for ASP, Coldfusion or JSP.

Or, you could post a "help wanted" thread in the Commercial Exchange here on WW. When I needed a script written for a classified ads section for my site, and the task was above my skill level, I got someone to write the script for about $500. It worked very, very well.

Good luck.