Building a Central Corona Directory over the next 24-48 hours. Feedback+Help needed!

NOTE: Technical queries are at the bottom of the post.

Hello Makerpad,

I am Shashank, a student from New Delhi(India). So, I’ve been coming across resources related to a lot of different areas(student competitions, volunteering, manufacturing health equipment etc) in which community can help over the past 2-3 days. Now, finally making a central directory of all these resources from all regions of world.

  1. Why?
  2. Domain Name
  3. Tech Stack
  4. Components of website
  5. Suggestions/Help/Contact
  6. Technical Queries

Why?

Have come across many community based/ official websites, trackers, problem solving exercises, contests, competitions but most of them are shared on twitter within a niche segment of the STEM community. It’s time for everything to be easily accessible.

First batch of listings will mainly focus on connecting people of different professions/capabilities to actions they can perform. Very strictly curated content.

Going with no-code for faster prototyping + changes. Also, the free PRO plans for COVID-related efforts were a major encouragement.

Main goals of website:

  • great UI+UX
  • Low churn rate. Maximize actions+clicks.
  • Minimize the thinking any visitors have to do. They shouldn’t have to spend even 1ms figuring out the website.

I mean we all are aware how great marketing, UI/UX and other tactics are important nowadays for all Startups, ventures ( Saas, consumer apps, basically everyone) to succeed in a given timeframe when there’re so many rival products.

Well here, our rivals are Coronavirus+Time. Let’s be smart, apply all tactics and flatten the curve.

Domain Name

Domain name has to be easy to be remember. Easy on the lips. And a .com
A lot (and I mean a lot, like 10-15 best ones) of the easier, great domains have been bought (no surprises here​:joy::disappointed_relieved:).
Still, here are the ones I have shortlisted( some of them are just trash, but saved them anyway): Google Domains Shared Link
Any suggestions are welcome, though I am most probably going with one of the domains in the link above. Will buy domain in a few hours (please don’t buy the good ones​:joy::pray:)

Tech Stack

Webflow + Jetboost + Airtable + Airtable Forms + Zapier

I have made websites(code) before. Haven’t worked with Webflow before, but it isn’t difficult. Familiar with the major capabilities of all these tools. Aware that all of them are offering free services/plans right now for COVID related tools. Will be applying for them.

Airtable

main database of links. Columns: Title, Description, Categories, URL.
Categories: hardware, software, donate, masks, ventilators, Data Science/ML, Contests/Challenges, Online Communities, Tips
Basically, a very broad range of categories so that people can filter according to their capabilities to contribute.

Webflow + Jetboost
Speaking of filters, Jetboost will be used. I will use the search capability along with dropdown menu for choosing country/region and a multi-select buttons for the categories. Will use a variation of this Webflow template by Jetboost founder.


Airtable Table + Form

2 Airtable tables. One for the final content being displayed (Webflow CMS/ Zapier integration). Other for collecting form submissions. Form will have same categories as the main table. Will have some trusted moderators for sorting the good links, writing short Titles, <280 chars descriptions of each link. Probably good idea to take help from copywriters, will do this.

Components

Layout will be like the above pic. Single Page site. (maybe another page for About/Team. this is low priority stuff)

  • Main Page will have the listings with filter on the left occupying 2/3rd.
  • On the right, will have small, quickly digestible tips to use the site (Remember:
    Minimize the thinking any visitors have to do. They shouldn’t have to spend even 1ms figuring out the website.)
  • And a place for the Airtable Form.
  • Google analytics for tracking ( max/min traffic sources )

Suggestions/Help/Contact

NOTICE: If you’re posting solutions/suggestions to any queries below, please mention your Name, any 1 link/URL of your choice(twitter, personal site etc) in this format:

Name:URL

I’d like to mention everyone on the site :grinning:.
You can also contact me on Twitter: _iamShashank_
Sometimes, responses might be a little late, due to timezone difference. I apologize for that.

Now, I’ll keep updating this post tomorrow, for all help I need. Ideally, i would’ve wanted to figure out all the details of Webflow etc on my own, but not enough time for that,so, might need help(will continue to update regarding that) and I’d like to focus on the overall execution of all other aspects. Right now, have made the Airtable table, populated some of the data, cloned the Webflow template above, will delete most of the pages and get started on the integrations.

Technical Queries

  • In an Airtable Base, suppose I hav made 2 tables: Table 1 (with main data), Table 2(with data from form submissions) (images attached below). I have a Categories column in Table 1, which I’d like in Table 2 also, so that I can generate a Form for Table 2 with all those same categories for people to choose. This should be really simple, I think I’ve done this before, can’t figure out right now. How to do this?


  • I’m not familiar with Webflow CMS advanced capabilities. Do I need to use Zapier to connect Airtable to Webflow CMS or is there another simpler way? (main reason for using Airtable is the multi-select option for Categories(which I want to integrate with Jetboost), any other way to do that in Webflow?)

  • Also, another possible issue with Airtable is that if I update a record in Airtable, then how to update the Webflow CMS too. In the Webflow Forum (link to post), someone said Zapier doesn’t have integration for detecting updates.