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Posted by Forum Master on June 19, 2002 18:48:31 UTC

There really is no firm business model for this site yet.

I keep it on my own server for disk space and bandwidth reasons.

Disk Space
In case you are wondering, all the posts are in a database which exists in about 40 megabytes of disk space (23MB of which is G&S - Wow!). Not too bad really. The disk space on my own server is not a big deal so I will probably keep all messages for all time. Plus, I have a large investement in search engine knowledge of all those older posts.

Bandwidth
Bandwidth is the real issue and I currently have it on a T1 (shared with others) for a fixed rate. This seems to be working quite well. Moving this to most any other provider will incur extra charges.

The Box
I do have a few other customers on this same server to help share costs. I am about ready to upgrade to a whole new box to bring it more in line with modern servers. The box is not currently overloaded, but I want some room to grow. Also, if I start changing coding that will improve the feature set available to you all, it might benefit from the extra horsepower available in a new machine.

Free Sites
I make free sites available for genuine astronomy sites that are non-commercial at

http://astronomy.net/

I feel very stongly about supplying free sites to help gather astronomy knowledge under one roof.
I, of course, charge some nominal rate for commercial astronomy web sites, but they then get free advertising on Astronomy Net. Given the huge traffic, this is certainly worth at least $1.

Charging the users
I am not really interested in this as there are other good free sites where you would all go. I never wanted to charge users anyway.

Ads
Revenue boils down to any web sites I sell plus any ads I sell. The advertising of keywords and banner ads is really meant for commercial enterprises, but anyone is welcome to buy an ad so long as it is not vulger, hardcore, well, you know what I mean.
Your interest in helping with the costs of this web site are very much apprciated.
I will be adding more ad packages as time goes buy. I have been unsuccessful selling ads at set rates to commercial folks so letting Ebay figure out the real worth is better than nothing. Note also that the Ebay auctions are kept private so the veil of privacy is extended to that site.

So there you have my latest thoughts. I very much appreciate your votes of support.

John

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