Archive for March, 2007

Banned From Digital Point In Record Time!

March 26, 2007

I hang-out over at the Digital Point forums every now and again, but have never posted anything there. However, I stumbled on some great information for the AdSense wannabees in the comments section over on Techcrunch.

Figuring folks would appreciate a real-life example of some AdSense earnings, I dutifully created an account on DP and posted the info…about 5 minutes later I got an e-mail from DP telling me I’d been banned for six months for spamming the forums!

This probably happened because I’d left in all the URLs (which had no links to me at all) and fallen foul of their aggresive spambot. I’d love to read DP’s infraction rules (which they helpfully gave me a link to), but they now automatically divert me to a page telling me I’m banned whenever I try to re-visit. Thanks guys!

So, did I spam them? Read my post and tell me what you think:

For The Doubters: A Real-Life Example of AdSense Earnings!

Lots of folks seem to post on here asking the standard “how much do you make” type of questions. Since forums are a pretty anonymous sort of place, you simply never know if someone is telling the truth.

Browsing through the TechCrunch site today, I noticed someone left a comment about selling off his sites on eBay. Interestingly, he included A LOT of information on his AdSense earnings and traffic levels, etc.

I’m not sure anyone has mentioned it yet, so I thought I’d share…I hope it helps motivate the doubters out there…

This is the eBay listing:

High-Traffic Superfan Sites For Sale
We get approximately 500,000 (combined) page views a day to the following domains:

Fly Publishing, LLC is a company I created to run these sites along with a book publishing initiative. We are not selling the company, just the above sites.

Q. How much advertising revenue do the sites prodcue?
It ranges from $30 to $200 a day. The last few months it’s been closer to the $30 side. We used to be getting $100 a day consistently. All ads are done via google adsense.

Q. How long have the sites been running? started in Feb 2004 but only since April 2006 (1 year ago) did the traffic really get going and the money start flowing.

Q. What is the source of the traffic?
Originally got well indexed by and many searches for TV shows and actors came to us. Now there is a core group of several thousand people that use teavee and moosak everyday.

Q. Why do people keep coming back to the sites?
The sites let you vote for your favorite tv show or music artist, etc. Super fans really enjoy posting messages to the group of other fans and making their item #1. Teavee and moosak have become fan community sites. Since you can only vote every ten minutes, many fans spend all day on the sites waiting for the ten minute windows to open.

Q. What are you selling?
All the code, the domains, the current user database. You can either takeover our dedicated server (hosted with godaddy) or we can install the code on your server. The sites are written in Ruby on Rails with a mysql database. They require a dedicated server though. Trying to run them with shared hosting plans doesn’t work. The amount of traffic (especially during the voting windows) would break a shared hosting account.

Q. Can we see exactly how much you’ve made over the past year?

02/28/2007 GOOGLE ADSENSE REVENUE SH +$1,713.43
01/25/2007 GOOGLE ADSENSE REVENUE SH +$2,413.87
12/29/2006 GOOGLE ADSENSE REVENUE SH +$1,835.51
11/27/2006 GOOGLE ADSENSE REVENUE SH +$2,551.13
10/25/2006 GOOGLE ADSENSE REVENUE SH +$1,393.86
09/26/2006 GOOGLE ADSENSE REVENUE SH +$1,885.13
08/24/2006 GOOGLE ADSENSE REVENUE SH +$1,749.25
07/26/2006 GOOGLE ADSENSE REVENUE SH +$2,342.41
06/28/2006 GOOGLE ADSENSE REVENUE SH +$1,630.24
05/30/2006 GOOGLE ADSENSE REVENUE SH +$494.16
04/28/2006 GOOGLE ADSENSE REVENUE SH +$107.74

Q. Why are the sites worth over $100,000 if they only make around $2,000 a month?
Businesses are often sold for x times earnings. You are buying the business for the potential to change it and make even more money. There are lots of improvements that could be made to the sites.

Q. Why don’t you just make those improvements yourself?
It’s time for us to move on. We’d had a great year with the sites but we are ready to move on to another idea.

Q. I’ve been to the sites and I just don’t get it. Can you explain why people use it?
Sure, watch this youtube video:

Q. Can we see the traffic stats?
Sure, watch this other youtube video:

Also, send us your gmail email address and we can give you access to our google analytics report.

Q. What kind of guarantee can you give us that the traffic won’t stop?
None. All the fans could decide tomorrow to leave and never comeback. Hasn’t happened in over a year though.

Q. How many registered users with email addresses do you have?
At the time of this post, over 8,000. Each user has two email options recorded, allow Fly Publishing, LLC to email them, and allow partners of FlyPublishing, LLC to email them. They can change these settings in the user settings page.

Q. What type of escrow will you accept?
Only 5% of final purchase price placed in escrow for six months. After six months if no claims against it, escrow ends and last 5% is given to FlyPublishing, LLC. This means if the final price is $100,000 you give$95,000 to Fly Publishing on day 1. Then you have six months to use what you bought and see if we lied or misrepresented anything. If you feel we did, you can make a legal claim against the $5,000 in escrow. But don’t worry, we didn’t lie about anything.

Q. What type of support will I get?
You’ll be able to email or call us with programming questions. We won’t be able to do any new programming work with the code, but we will be happy to help a new developer understand how the system works and answer specific questions. You’ll also get a pdf manual explaining the whole system.

Original Bay Listing


Small Steps Are The Best

March 26, 2007

Due to technical reasons (ummm…me being an idiot), the service was down for a few hours the other night. A slight issue with me uploading 3 new things at once (database scripts, file uploading, new build of the site, yup – that’ll work…) and not knowing which one had blown up (the database scripts).

Lesson to self: small incremental steps.

Swopster Is Now Online

March 26, 2007

Woo-hoo, you may have noticed we’re finally online.

It’s taken a while. Okay, a long, long time! Seemingly insignificant tasks can end up consuming so much of your time, it’s untrue…

So, what’s the current status? Well, my dedicated little band of beta-testers managed to slow the site’s development to a crawl while I frantically fixed some UI issues and minor bugs for them. No major bugs reported as yet (famous last words!), but I needed to do a bit of a re-design of the swapping/confirmation screens. It’s just a bit more reassuring to be taken to a ‘Are you sure’ type of page with explicit confirmation of what you’re requesting rather than the old Banzaii-all-or-nothing ‘I Agree’ button that used to be there.

Another week or so in beta-test, and then I’ll take off the beta restrictions, I think.