How Much Will It Cost!

As I have thought about this project it has become apparent that there are several different levels on which it would be possible to proceed. I decided to post them here to bounce them off an audience. Below I have laid out what I would do with grants of varying sizes. Does this look like a good use of money?

Cost: Just About Nothing
This scenario would require me picking up a bit more knowledge of PHP and MySQL. I would start to catalog games in a database and then build a PHP front end for the site. It may well be that there is something ready made that I could bend to fit my purpose. ( I don’t know that much about Drupal or other CMS tools those could well be the way to go). From there I could manipulate Google’s custom engine to search the games sites directly and the contents of the site itself. Many of the more flashy features, a “Games Backpack”, a portal for games developers, integration with state standards, would all have to wait till the site received more funding. The only expense, outside of my time, would be to register the domain and host the site.

Cost $50,000
With $50,000 things would probably be very similar. Most of the money would go toward contracting out the design and site layout to a web designer/programmer. The goal here would be to build a stable and attractive site with a database backend that I could then populate with information on the games that I aggregated. Any money left over would be spent on interns, or a graduate assistant to help me aggregate the content. Hiring a designer would both improve the quality of the site and also rapidly increase the speed at which the site could be operational. By contracting out the web design I will be able to focus more on the content, improving the quality of both.

Cost 150,000
$150,000 would allow me to develop more of the features I initially laid out. Here I would consider hiring a web designer/programmer to work full time for a year, and then use the remaining money to hire interns or a graduate assistant to aggregate the content. Ideally, with this much money I could spend most of my time evangelizing the tool, working to build our user community making the project attractive enough to acquire additional funding to extend Playing History’s capabilities.

Cost 300,000
With 300K I would hire the same people that I did in the 150k scenario, but I would hire them for an additional year. This would allow us to spend much more time integrating user feedback and rolling out more of the stages I discussed earlier. In all the scenarios the goal would be to work toward acquiring additional funds to extend, expand, and add additional functionality.

Those are rough outline of how I have been thinking about funding the project. So, doe it sound feasible? Are there big things I am leaving out?

5 Replies to “How Much Will It Cost!”

  1. Trevor
    Your references to various ways to construct a search engine were very helpful. You are very conversant in the construction of web sites and I might ask for a "counseling" session at some point. What I am having difficulty with is the conversion of what I know I want to archive on the site and what my digital requirements would be (i.e., languages, formats, etc.) Thanks. Jerry

  2. Just to note one point in your budget variables, my experience researching state standards leads me to conclude that any time you spent "integrating" state standards into your game sites would be wasted. The standards differ in wording across the various states, but the common denominator is topics in the curriculum. You can determine the topics in most standards documents by going to a high end history state like CA or NY (which has a very detailed outline), and a low-end state such as TX (which has a more general outline), just as two examples.
    Once you know the topics, you can locate games that correspond to those topics. That will certainly be sufficient.

  3. Trevor
    Your blog on costs helped me focus on several issues for my proposed archival site. One of the threshold questions is conversion of the over 3,000 newspaper articles that I assume I can cache (right use of word?) and move to my web site. These are currently in PDF format. So my understanding from reading Professor Cohen's book is that I would ave to have someone convert to machine readable text in order to be available for a site search engine to work effectively. Am I right? if so what would be the going rate for this sort of conversion.

  4. @ nails63: Thanks for the kind words! It is always nice to hear.

    @proutj: Feel free to email me anytime. My Zotero address is probably the easiest., but Professor Cohen is probably a better bet for more definitive info on searching.

    @Susanld: I think your right on standards. It would probably be easy enough to scrape out the general categories. I do think someone should build a state standard api or plugin tool though and if I had the cash it would be neat to assemble it for anyone to use.

    @proutj again: It would depend. Are they PDF's you scanned or are they from another repository, there is a chance that if they came from another repository they already have been OCR'ed, but if they did come from somewhere else there are some serious rights issues. Probably a good bet to ask professor cohen.

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