> I am about to begin the development of an on-line e-mail directory
> with a focus on world affairs, and I need some help in its design.
> I hope that such a directory would be of sufficient use to subscribers
> of Afrik-IT that people are willing to provide some guidance.
> On what lists are such matters best discussed?
> I'd appreciate any suggestions you might have about the design and
> development of such a resources.
> Haines Brown
> [log in to unmask]
> Warping with ZOC (V2.11)
Haines and all
I have an example which might be of interest to you and afrik-iters in
general, at http://www.ctr.columbia.edu/~nemo/ESS/directory/
It is the Ethiopian Internet White pages. The name is pretty much
self-explanatory. Let me add that it is a dynamic WWW document. Anyone
can come and enter themself in this directory, though it is targeted
at Ethiopians and "friends" thereof. When you enter yourself, if you
put in an e-mail address or a URL, they are automatically linked in
(HTMLized), so that anyone visiting the white pages can not only see
your directory entry, but also, at the click of a button, send you an
e-mail or visit your homepage.
The page also has a search engine, you enter a keyword, press a button
and it finds all matching entries.
The implementation is quite simple, uses a combination of cgi shell
scripts, a C++ program, and some awk scripts.
It's been quite a success as a community networking resource. It's
gone from 150 entries last October to 583 right now, with 107 new
entries in the month of January alone. In terms of people just looking
at it, that hovers around 100 visits a day. Not huge numbers, but not
bad for something that is still recent (started 3 months ago) and aimed
at a relatively small community.
Anyway, have a look at http://www.ctr.columbia.edu/~nemo/ESS/directory
and if you are interested, let me know and I could give you the code
to do it (assuming you want to do it on Unix).