I had just set up the website and mailing list and gotten ready to focus on the actual calendar service, and then I suffered a concussion. This week I have done little but relax by doctor's orders. Therefore I unfortunately can't show any progress as I had planned. Instead I will use this week's post to describe my current thoughts on the calendar service.
Thoughts on the calendar service
This week I had to avoid hard physical work and work that requires concentration. I had to reduce television watching and reading, and generally had to rest a lot. Lying in my bed I had a few thoughts on the calendar service, which I couldn't jump up and sketch out on paper, start coding or even concentrate too much on. Therefore I will use the rest of this post to try to remember and summarize those thoughts. They are to a large extent just small elaborations on some of the descriptions in my previous two posts, but that is all I have this week.
I've pondered whether to create desktop, web or mobile application(s). I imagine genealogists or family researchers will do most of the research at a desk and don't think I need to prioritize mobile at first, but please correct me if I'm wrong. For desktop, I think it will be easier and reach further to do a web application. By reaching further, I mean it can be accessible by people on Windows as well as people on Mac and even other operating systems. By easier I mean that I can develop a single application rather than one for each operating system, but also that it overlaps with my existing skills. Therefore I will focus on creating a web application.
As mentioned in my first post, the two main features imagined for the service is to be able to 1) translate a named church day in some year to a regular calendar date and 2) calculate a birth date from a death date and an age. In addition the user should not have to worry about Julian and Gregorian calendars and the switch between the two done in Denmark in 1700. Thinking about these features got me thinking about some related features, which I will briefly describe next.
Determine named day
I believe sometimes it can be heard to interpret the writings in the old Danish church books. Therefore it can sometimes be hard to determine which named church day is actually recorded. Perhaps the calendar service can allow the user to just write what it looks like and the service can offer some suggestions of what it could be, e.g. highlighting the named days it matches the closest.
Dates between calendars?
The calendar service should allow us to see a Danish calendar without needing to know if Denmark followed the Julian or Gregorian calendar in some specific year. However, it might be relevant in some cases to know what a date in the Danish calendar matches in some other calendar. For a start there will only be a Danish calendar, but later I may add calendars of neighbor countries and maybe continue to other countries. For instance, the Swedish transition to the Gregorian calendar seems long and special and there is an extended period where the Danish and Swedish calendars were not aligned.
These are some of the features I've thought of during the week. As always, I'm very interested in feedback, so feel free to use the comments or write me at email@example.com.
Many micropreneur books and posts advocate putting a price tag on a service from the start. The idea is to determine if the product is offering enough value for consumers early on. It is advised to experiment with the price to find a sweet spot, but it is not advised to give the product away for free and try to figure out later how to monetize. That is off course, if one is interested in trying to make money on ones services.
I'm here hoping to offer a service and earn a little bit and/or learn something useful for a next product. As you may have noticed I've also added some prices to the "fake" sales window for the calendar service (see more info on it in my previous post). These prices seem fair to me and manageable for most, but in the end, it is depends on whether you will find it worth it. Whether the calendar service turns out more convenient, easier to use or can offer something more that makes it worth the extra buck compared to using R.W. Bauer's "Calender for Aarene fra 601 til 2200" manually or some of the similar digital services (e.g. morchslaegt.dk, rmadsen.dk or dinslægt.dk). As always, I'm very interested in feedback in the comments or per mail.
The week to come...
I'm planning to go back to work next week, but will continue to relax outside of work. Therefore, I will probably continue to put the calendar project on pause until the next weekend. I wrote this post in multiple steps over the last couple of days, but I hope to be able to do more next weekend than just a blog post.