Idea behind mel-jol.com

As I mentioned in my earlier email (and repeating a few points again for people who haven’t received it) that the main idea behind this online community is

– to help existing or new people coming into the community (like a business owner within the community may want to hire someone and advertise for it or someone having a computer problem which can be solved easily by another member of the community or a Professor may want to get a student for some research work from within the community)
– to help students and other people coming into this area with a number of resources and guidance which they can readily use and benefit from
– to keep in touch with each other, engage in healthy discussions, share our experiences and useful information
– to help people interact even after the cultural activities are finished (like Diwali festival)
– to develop a long lasting bond even after people have moved out of the area but still want to know what is happening where they once lived and stay in touch with their friends.

In response to this email I received encouraging replies from different people, their offer for help and discussion but everyone has very little time to fit everything in their daily schedule. So I thought it would be better to start a blog (rather using email) where everyone can come to suggest ideas as well as discuss it openly at their own convenience and I look forward to it. Many thanks to everyone who replied to my email regarding this.

I am also copying the ideas here which Purnima emailed me some time back. Please find it below:

* a chatting window to share ideas, ask for resources
* local resources for & by South Asian’s (SA’ns)+ others
* directory of businesses run by SA’ns
* Local Community event board & post event report & pictures
* links to other SA’ns sites
* links to BBC
* links to the gov sites of all SA’n countries
* telephone directory/data base of all the SA’ns living in devon. This could be a seperate directory, compiled with the permission of all
* links to local & all UK + international tourism info
* info on immigration/visa issues & links to relevant sites
* interesting info-articles on health etc
* Local job market info/links/job advt

Personally, I think these all are brilliant ideas and can be implemented, although not all together but in stages. Infact, BBC has suggested to provide a link to our site from their own. The only thing I am a bit concerned is the chatting window because in a chatting window anyone can come and write anything which may not be appropriate. I suggest, instead of a chatting window we can use a message board or forum (which is part of the original plan) to share ideas and ask for resources. Any suggestions?

Please leave a comment on what you think regarding the above by using the comment option below.

Server configuration

I mentioned in my earlier post that installation of additional software and reconfiguration of server will take 2-3 days but it has taken more than that because:

1) of a compilation issue while installing a software since the server was missing something and it has taken quite a while to find that missing component, and

2) ofcourse, my PhD work.

Server

After doing a good amount of research on web hosting companies located around the world I decided not to go for a server in US or in any other part of the world rather to go for a Tier 1 ISP in UK. I opted to go for a server rather than a shared hosting option because of the following reasons:

1) We can install whatever software we want.

2) Our site do not have to share the extra burden of other websites on the same webserver.

3) Our site won’t crash if some other website starts misbehaving due to some bug in their code or any other problem.

Anyway, now I have to install some additional softwares and reconfigure the server according to our requirement. If everything goes well then i dont think it should take more than 2-3 days.

Domain name

After some technical clarification from BBC (thanks to Jo Loosemore) I decided to think about a domain name for the website.

I did a lot of thinking and decided to have an Indian word for the name of community site and hence mel-jol.com, which makes sense and I think conveys the meaning to most of the south asians, if not all. For those who don’t know what it means, I have put a caption on the website which is share, communicate and interact.

P.S. I am sure, some people might say that this name sucks. If you are one of those, then just leave a comment and let other people also know about it but instead of just ranting also try to give some suggestions. 😉