webPotato: Bringing Hollywood to the internet

July 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

In my senior year of college, I took an e-commerce class. A semester-long project was a large part of the grade. Each group’s task was to come up with an online business, propose a business plan, and build a prototype website. Part of my responsibility for the project was designing that site.

Our consulting group logo.

We discussed for a few days ideas about the business before we came up with a site that would make deals with television and film companies to provide free streaming content in one place. Sounds a lot like Hulu, doesn’t it? The funny thing is that about two weeks after we came up with the idea, hulu.com launched. We ended up deciding to continue with our work, modifying it to be a competitor to Hulu and learning from its problems.

Get it? The interwebs + couch potato? Sort of a play on words.

I’m not going to detail the business side of things as this post is to highlight the website. I’ve uploaded the webPotato and eVolvingWeb sites online for anyone that wants to check it out ‘live.’ Small parts of the layout got messed up with new browser updates, but, for the most part, it still works.

We wanted to really focus on building a community with the site, so we included a personal message system and an integrated wiki.  We also had a page similar to Facebook’s favorites section, so that users could find people with similar interests. In current terms, I guess I would describe it as a mix of Hulu, IMDB, and Screened.

In the end, the site doesn’t look that great, but after all the presentations were done in the class, we were rated as the most professional looking. Either way, I had a lot of fun making it (and got an A).



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