State of the USSM ship, shirt sales, hosting drive
You’ve probably noticed that there are three tiny Google Ads on the USSM front page now, and one on normal story pages. And that we’ve been pushing the really cool USSM shirts and also the really awesome Limited Edition Top Ten list shirts (see, I’m pushing them right now). If you’ve read these site updates before, you’re probably vaguely aware that because our readership’s grown so vast, we’re no longer safe on the tiny little box I pay for, and, at a certain point, we decided it’d be better to try and squeeze enough money to upgrade our digs rather than die on the vine. In any event — the shirts sold well out of the gate (buy some, they’re cool) and the ads aren’t going gangbusters, but it looks like we’re going to make it. I’m in negotiations for hosting and hope to have it up before the start of the season.
Then, assuming someone buys a shirt and the modest ads do okay, we’ll run a breakeven (on dollars) operation through most of the season if growth keeps up, and we’ll figure out what happens then. Breakeven doesn’t sound so great, considering the time investment, but seriously, it’s a huge step up from out-of-pocket.
But let me throw this out there — if you run a site that takes donations (using Amazon or whatever), or if you’d rather see us put up something like that rather than run the current ads, drop us an email.
That’s the state of USSM. This’ll be three years since we started in on this, and it’s been rewarding, frustrating, and rewarding again. I could write for a while on how crazy it is that we’re looking for a beefier server because the one we moved to back in August of 2004 can’t take the strain anymore, or how weird it is to think that when Dave, Jason, and I started bouncing emails back and forth that we’d eventually join a community this large.
All I really want to say is thanks. I don’t know what happens next, but this has been pretty great so far.