This project involves technical design, creation, hosting and ONGOING MAINTENANCE of a custom, data-intensive website. If you would prefer to use a third-party host that you help specify, that's OK. I will rely on you to keep the site and database running 24/7/365, so please be capable of providing monitoring and on-call service in the event of unplanned downtime.
The site manages and aggregates topics/threads from a large number of Internet message boards. Users subscribe to boards (forums) they are interested in, and the site automatically scrapes thread titles and data on a periodic basis. Users are presented with an aggregated list of threads in the subscribed forums, sorted by popularity, activity, timeliness, etc.
= Site entry
Entry page of site contains a bookmarklet which the user drags to his bookmarks bar.
No username/password is required to identify accounts. When a new user without any identifying information lands on the entry page, a unique id is placed in both a cookie and the bookmarklet. The unique id will be randomized from a range of at least 64 bits, providing a basic level of security against id guessing. The unique ID will provide user account identification for returning visitors.
The user navigates to a forum, then clicks the bookmarklet. The bookmarklet passes the current browser URL to our server, which then generates a "Subscribe to new forum" page as follows: