Case Study: PharmQuest Corp.

Community maintenance

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Keeping up with all these resources means maintaining a wide variety of listings all the time. A total of about 15 hours a week is spent maintaining the community area, which receives 20,000 page views a day, Hemmady said. Content and link additions are mined and added to the community each business day by three people: a Webmaster, a graphic designer and, in Hemmady's words, "a scientist," rather than a journalist or Web content manager. The scientist also compiles "Drug Development Daily," a free e-mail newsletter.

The overall tab to build the community site was less than $500,000, Hemmady said.

"Much of this amount has been paid back as we create our other products," he said. "The market research data provided by the site, the ability to showcase our products and offer beta samples to customers on the site, [plus] the aggregated information on vendors, suppliers and consultants is at least worth over $10 million to PharmQuest."

By early May, PharmQuest intends to add several new community features, such as moderated, threaded discussion groups that will cover various pharmaceutical and biotech industry topics. The groups will not initially involve online chats, but rather archived postings.

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