A good web project for someone wanting to get a feel of making real web applications, among others is a todo/task manager web site, much like yahoo Groups, but with a slight difference. Let’s say, the site will require you to register and form groups as in the former case. Then on, you can keep your entire business or personal information, schedules, messages, group activities, chat, message boards – all of it.
One especially good audience for this kind of a website is the age group 15-25 – mainly college-goers. You may even wish to imitate an online software project management site like sourceforge.net or tigris.org, but, they are doing an excellent job, and, in that domain, anyone who sets up a competing site will fade away quite quickly. I guarantee. However, just as all good universities have functional web sites, you can have an online course monitoring system, basically a virtual private network, where students are supposed to take specific tests, fill in assigment schedules, fill in time-sheets if need be, have a place to co-ordinate for non-academic activities as well. If a customizable system of this kind is provided as a product, which is quite easy, given the sophistication of the several content management systems on offer from the open-source world, then, the product may sell among the colleges who can afford to put up such a site and mainly, are willing to allow an online student community.
Then the college can use the site to manage all student affairs – enrollment, course scheduling, tests, assignments, projects. The option of online exams seems exciting. Also, a high-speed internet connection will enable real-time distance education, courses with participants from across the world. All the software required for this kind of a site is available for free in the open-source world. One just needs to package it all together and make a nice looking installer to put everything in place for a novice end user – much like any other normal program. This is a sure hot-seller.