So, as the whole world knows by now, Dave Winer, one of the pioneers of blogging, shut down weblogs.com without any notice.
While it was great of him to provide free hosting for as long as he did, and while he’s been a huge benefactor of the blogging community in many ways, this is nasty and stupid.
There was a much better option …
I understand that Dave is apparently having health problems. My best wishes and the wishes of many others go out to him.
But I’m surprised that fairly obvious solution did not occur to him. Why not stick Google AdWords on all those sites?
Dave Boone, the webmaster at my company, had been hosting a site gratis for a buddy for quite a few years. Wanting to make some revenue of this site, which was taking up quite a bit of bandwidth, he politely asked the buddy if he, Dave, could stick AdWords on the site. The buddy said yes. Dave put AdWords on the site.
Dave is now making enough to cover ALL his hosting costs. Not bad, huh, for 15 minutes work?
So now look at Dave Winer. So the server needs work. So the bandwith is high. Well, hosting a few thousand blogs is going to be generating a LOT of hits. You’re doing it free. You’ve made the templates. The sites are on your box. Stick AdWords on them all.
Make it optional if you want. Give some notice if you want. Accept a small payment in lieu of AdWords if you want.
But at least you’re not killing thousands of bloggers’ babies!
And the revenue would surely cover the bandwidth plus the cost of hiring some poor coder sucker whose job got outsourced to India to fix up any issues.
Dave may not be thinking straight because of his illness, or there may be other issues. But this should have been an obvious possibility to an experienced webby like him.