Before you rush out and use a "community in a box"
solution to build your web site, consider the principles and concepts discussed
in this article. Does the pre-built solution deliver just
the tools relevant to your community? Does the pre-built solution enable you to
easily recognize your community members? Does the pre-built solution "get
out of the way" and let your community flourish or does it bog it down
with unnecessary weight? While ASP.NET shortcuts definitely exist that can help
you build a community site, they are not always the best choice if you want to
build a strong community following.
Where do you begin then? Try joining one of the active
ASP.NET communities and seeking help from the vast army of ASP.NET developers.
Aside from getting quick technical advice and help, you will also experience
firsthand the elements that make a thriving community work.
Once you have refined the vision for your site, try looking
in for robust controls to provide the "out of the way" UI that your
site needs to succeed. One of the many advantages of developing with ASP.NET
(versus say, PHP) is that there is a rich component model and marketplace
established, which enables you to easily add rich functionality to your
application. From free controls like the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit to more
advanced controls like the RadControls for ASP.NET from Telerik, turning your
vision into a high performance community site is probably easier than you