In the past month, I started coming up to speed on Windows Azure, having attended a developer camp in Microsoft's NYC offices in early December.
I then signed up for a Pluralsight membership and had been viewing a ton of their training materials on my new Kindle Fire using their app, and spent a good amount of time looking at their stuff for ASP.Net MVC, jquery and Windows Azure, all of which I have not had much experience with.
Wanting to work with all these technologies, and build something new, I spent the last 8 days developing a new site: "How Often Should You," a site which allows users to discuss, share information and vote related to questions users typically ask that start "How Often Should You."
Any question searched for automatically gets a topic specific page. In the interest of getting things live as quickly as possible, I've only implemented bare bones functionality for topics including:
- Submit and Vote on answers to the question, Poll Style.
- Submit and Vote on Links related to the question
- Submit, Reply and Vote on comments related to the question.
- Tag each topic with keywords that will relate the question to other questions.
There's also a basic account/login model, which isn't really used for much now, as for now anonymous users can vote and submit content.
There is plenty of room for feature improvements, and I already have a large backlog including rolling out sister sites for a few domain names I already registered (WhereCould, HowCanYouGet). I will actually be able to leverage the same servers and db as this is architected into the approach. It's part of my plan to create these sites under an umbrella site called "OnceFound," which right now is just another domain name I own.
Ultimately, I'm planning on running ads on the sites, and is this my first venture of this kind, I'm curious to see how successful this could be.
Under the hood, I'm using a bunch of technologies I haven't gotten a chance to work with before including: ASP.Net MVC3, Entity Framework 4.1 (code first), JQuery (JQuery UI and a few other plugins), SQL Azure (Plan on using table storage down the road) and of course Windows Azure. I'm also using GIT for the first time, and saving my code in a private repository on bitbucket, which has been a nice experience so far.
Luckily my MSDN subscription gives me a number of Azure computing hours for free, which I'm hoping will eliminate most of my costs for running this experiment. Right now the site is powered by 3 extra small instances.
I plan on posting more details about the technical implementation and planned features so stay tuned.
There is not a lot of content now, but I'll be adding generic pages based on search estimates from google's keyword estimator tool.
Check out the site here: http://www.howoftenshouldyou.com/