HamNets.co.uk beta

What is HamNets?
HamNets is an evolving system that is designed to Aid the Operators and Users of Nets on Ham Radio. The current version really is only the tip of the iceberg in relation to what is planned for HamNets.

Who is behind HamNets?
The team behind HamNets are Jess (M6VBR) and Pete (M6VBF), A pair of recently licensed hams who have many years experience with commercial web projects across a wide variety of industries.
HamNets is currently a personal project that is being funded directly by Pete and Jess.

Where did HamNets come from? The idea behind HamNets was formed while we were involved in a local club net and we found that our notes were getting very messy with regard of who was on the net, who was monitoring but not actively participating and the current running order of the net.
We thought that it would be a lot easier if there was a computerised version of our notes.
The first version of HamNets (before it even got the name) ran only on a single machine, the next step was taken when we decided to set it up so that both of us could share the information, Coming from a web based technical background (and having servers available) the system became web based, once the web based system was (fairly) stable we shared it with a few members of the local club that operated the club nets to see if HamNets was useful to them, Obviously it was found to be useful to most and since then its usage has snowballed.

How is HamNets being run?
Hamnets is being run as a closed source project, it is currently hosted within our own development environment which does have limited bandwidth, with the current usage level the limited bandwidth is not an issue,
when bandwidth becomes an issue HamNets will be relocated to one of 2 locations, Option one is a server hosted within TelHouse in London, Option two is to migrate it onto Amazons EC3 Cloud infrastructure, each option has its pro's and con's...
Option one has the advantage of slightly lower costs but has the disadvantage that we could (if HamNets grows massively) outgrow the server.
Option two has the advantage that expansion is unlimited (if HamNets needs terabytes of storage and gigabytes of bandwidth per second the EC3 infrastructure can handle it) but has the disadvantage of increased costs
Which option is chosen will depend on whether HamNets is generating revenue by the time it needs to move from its current location.

Moving Hamnets between its current location (or even changing between option 1 and option 2) can be done seamlessly with no impact to its day to day operation.

Whats coming on HamNets
The short answer is Loads...
There is a lot of additions in the pipeline for HamNets, in no particular order these include...
QRZ.com integration, Hamnets will query QRZ.COm for additional information about net members where available
Google Maps integration, Hamnets will show the location of all of the participants within an active net
Messaging, Hamnets will provide the ability for registered users of the website to communicate with people monitoring an active net (giving SWL's a way of communicating with us or allowing a net member to pass a message to another without having to use the radio "going to make a cuppa" etc). initially messages will not be filtered but the net controller will have the ability to delete messages (this position may change if the system is abused)
and much much more

What are the commercial plans for HamNets?
Long term plans are to add features to HamNets while still keeping a simple user interface (after all we should be concentrating on talking and listening to the radio rather than the computer).
HamNets will be seperated into four tiers...

Tier 1 (Public Access)
Public access will include the ability to view / monitor any current public nets

Tier 2 (Personal usage / registered user / FREE)
the personal usage tier will provide the basic functionality of Hamnets in that the user will be able to create a net for their own personal usage, however their net will not be publicly viewable and will be wiped when the user leaves the site and no record of the net usage will be recorded

Tier 3 (Subscriber / Professional / Paid Subscription)
The subscriber usage tier will have the ability to create publicly viewable nets with the main functionality of the HamNets system

Tier 4 (Club Subscription / Multi User)
Club Subscriptions will be able to assign a number of registered users of HamNets as club net controllers, these users will then be able to create nets under the club name or their personal name and will also have the ability to hand over control of an active net to any other club net operator from the same club