I am a total newbie to WPMU and kindly ask you for some advice - also knowing that this might be kind of complex question and not easy to answer, but having "elite membership" (already a pSek WPMU hosting account, glad you referred to them) and still being a naive starter, I really hope for the best positive outcome...
What I am trying to accomplish is to offer a paid service for two groups of people:
1. People who would like to publish their content (The AUTHORS) - I want to provide them with a "minimalistic kind of blog" (Wordpress Theme). The content itself will be mainly pure text like with a Book or a Novel and the organization and presentation of the text should provide a "book like" reading experience. Guess the "book model" illustrates the best what I want to accomplish.
FUNCTIONALITY- For example, chapters of the customers narration could be organized as posts and some PageUp, PageDown functionality (that I would integrate) gives the impression of having single text pages (like with a book) that one can browse through. In a nutshell, the all over page layout would consist only of a header, the main text area (without sidebars!) and footer area.
The CONTENT would mainly consist only out of an "title page", an index-page showing and referring to the written chapters, as well as the single pages of text corresponding to the chapters - (having the page forward, page backward functionality integrated on it).
2. People/ prospects (The READERS) who are interested in reading the offered content - paying for it on a "pay per content" basis; like being able to pay for certain content once and then read this story or report. The reader who paid for the content shall have access to it as long as it is available/ online; this is especially important, if the content is somewhat published in a "time released" way. So the reader can get back to the content he has paid for later on and go on reading if he likes (independent of the amount of time passed!).
Finally, the all over picture is offering The AUTHORS a framework where they can organize in communities and provide them with WordPress "kind-of-book-templates" they can use to easily publish their content. Make it easy for The READERS to find and read content of The AUTHORS and as well get organized or join the available communities of the site
OK. Hope I could express what I am trying to do in a manner that can be understood! Now, I know from reading the WPMUDEV blog that you are offering a whole range of wonderful Plugins that could be used to realize this somehow. To be more precise, my question is twofold.
B) Would you please be so kind and confirm the listed plugins I think I need to use (or correct and ad if something is wrong or missing).
A) Could you please suggest a Theme (if any) that I could customize in such a way that it provides the layout I am have mentioned above? Or if I could provide a Theme (Template?) for that purpose and you could check/ approve if its functionality (duplication ability) is usable with the WPMU plugins and themes - or even custom program such a template and let me have an estimate of the cost?
In order to size this down and make smaller portions of it - it really would help if you initially could let me have an answer for A), what you suggest about which theme/ template to use (with your theme duplication plugin) that could be offered to the AUTHORS. Your answer is appreciated very much!
Thank you very much in advance, greets,