Setting up consultancy Craze with his brother-in-law provided Adam Reynolds with the opportunity to put development ideas into action, writes Martin Couzins.
One such project was the Web stie www.extremesports.co.uk, which was set up in the spring of last year to sell videos of - you guessed it - daring activities.
"I and my brother-in-law Luke Craze, who came up with the original concept for the site, set up extremesports. He provided the direction for the site and I provided the implementation and also fleshed out some of the concepts," says Reynolds.
Customer interaction determined his approach to developing the site. The site contained a lot of static information which, Reynolds says, needed to be made more dynamic to attract visitors. "To enable a Web site to become dynamic, I felt it needed a database back-end. I also wanted to use an object-oriented approach to development. I chose Allaire Coldfusion, which sat well with my OO experience."
It took three months to get the concepts right, but to rework the site into one driven by Coldfusion took just two weeks.
Reynolds points out that development of the site is ongoing. The current raft of changes includes membership areas, reviews and sport zones with an emphasis on remote administration of the site.
The site runs on NT servers based in the US - which, Reynolds says, provides cheaper hosting - with an upgrade to SQL server in place.
To build the site Reynolds used a combination of skills including Allaire CFStudio 4.5, Macromedia Dreamweaver and Fireworks. NetObjects Fusion was also used to provide a rapid prototyping interface.
With about 10,000 hits a month, Reynolds says the main challenge is getting visitors to return. "The major issue is to make the site "sticky'" by providing content that keeps people coming back. It really needs a team of sports enthusiasts to give it the content that we just don't have the time to provide. This naturally requires investment," he says.
Reynolds is mostly providing site administration to shift the focus from tech-head (himself) to content provider (his brother-in-law). "Content provision is best done by a nutter who goes surfing in the middle of winter," Reynolds concludes.
Name: Adam Reynolds
Qualifications: BSc in Computer Science
Hobbies: Games playing
Favourite book: The Magician by Raymond E Feist
Favourite pub: The Who'da Thought It, Glastonbury
Reynolds on Reynolds: workaholic, optimist, jovial
This was first published in April 2000