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The Future
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Paul
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Usergroup: Webmaster
Joined: Dec 21, 2001
Location: Northern California

Total Topics: 32
Total Comments: 252
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5 of 10 people found this comment helpful
Posted Jan 22, 2002 - 3:46 AM:

This site has always been based on the idea that I'd spend nothing and make no money in return. That used to work ok, even if not perfectly, but now it's becoming clear that spending nothing means the site won't be able to continue to host downloads. I can't count the number of free hosts I've tried to store files on now. For the moment, the reason it's working again is that I've moved the downloads back to F2S, the old location of this site, which is going to close their free hosting in about a month. So, obviously, this is only going to work for about a month and we still need a long-term solution or else it'll be impossible to listen to or download episodes through this site.

Sadly, no free webhosts want to take on a site that eats huge amounts of bandwidth with a relatively small number of visitors, because even if they place ads on the pages they couldn't get enough impressions out of it to pay for the bandwidth (which is upwards of 7,000,000,000 bytes per month... 7 gigs). So, the only thing left is to look at paid web hosts. I'm not rich, just an unemployed college student (California State University, Sacramento). I can't throw away the $100+ this would cost per year. So, switching to paid hosting will involve a price for visitors as well as for me... not in the direct monetary sense for visitors, but in the sense of perhaps being bombarded with advertising. I have some ideas to try to make it less painful, but if those ideas don't generate enough revenue then I'll still have to use more annoying methods (read: pop ups) in addition to try to cover hosting costs.

Problems/Disadvantages:
- It'd likely cost me around $10/month... and although I'd not mind too much if I'm left with the last $2 or so per month to pay myself it's a fact that visitors will have to somehow generate most of the money for the site.
- Banner ads could never generate even close enough money to pay for it, so they're not really an option.
- I'm not sure if search boxes and affiliate links would get used enough to pay a decent percentage... we'll see.
- I hate pop ups and pop-unders... but that could be the only option in the end to come close, and even that probably wouldn't fully cover costs.
- Most likely scenario is you'd have a search box on the main page, a couple of affiliate links on the listen page, plus a pop-up or pop-under window appearing every time you visit the site.

Advantages:
- Downloads should work perfectly all the time.
- I'm hoping to find a host that offers enough space that I can create an online archive of half or maybe even all of the episodes in MP3... although if that started eating too much data transfer, as it might if it became popular, I might have to control/restrict the archive somehow.
- www.quietplease.org sounds kinda nice, and the URL would never change again.


I'm going to do a little advance test within a few days to see how reasonable or unreasonable this may be. I'll be adding a sponsor link to the "listen" page. (Hopefully a Go!zilla button, since that's a program I use myself that does help us 56Kers with downloads.) I'll monitor that to see what kind of click-through rate it gets, and I'll try to project from that and see what potential it has. (That one link is certainly not going to pay for everything by itself, of course... I'd hope to find some other targeted ad links.)
Paul
Senior Member
Avatar

Usergroup: Webmaster
Joined: Dec 21, 2001
Location: Northern California

Total Topics: 32
Total Comments: 252
#2 - Quote - Permalink
5 of 10 people found this comment helpful
Posted Jan 25, 2002 - 2:36 AM:

Great news. smiling face Found a host with 500 MB of space and more than enough data transfer, for only $48/year. Already registered quietplease.org for $8.88 for 1 year. Thus, for about $57 this site is paid for a full year and has room for vast expansion.

In the next few days I'll be working on transferring the site... I've already got the HTML pages and graphics moved. Check it out at quietplease.org. (It it gives you an error, that means your ISP hasn't resolved that domain yet... but within a day or two it should work for everyone.) Next I'll transfer all the audio clips, which will take a while on my 56K connection, and finally I'll get started on the MP3s.

I'd project that out of my 500 MB space I'll need 5 megs for the main HTML and graphics, 10 megs for email, 10 megs for the audio clips, and 10 megs for the forum. A 5 MB buffer would be a good idea also. So, that'll leave 460 MB for the MP3 files. Estimating that they're an average of 6.7 megs per episode, that means 68 episodes.

This is going to end up requiring a re-design of the site, to make it easier to get to all the different episode downloads. If anyone has any suggestions for an easy navigation, that'd be great. It'll take me a while to get the re-design done though. Meanwhile if you want to know what you can download you'll probably just have to check the forum. (By the way, if anyone's wondering, there shouldn't be any posts or members lost from this message board this time like there was in the last move.)
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