What causes once sane people to build and operate a web site? Trust me, I know the four original founders of Mac360 and it ain’t a combination of money and sanity.
They were short on both counts. Could it be a four letter word?
Tera, Bambi, Alexis, and Ron came up with an idea for a ‘think different’ Mac site in early 2004.
The idea was to share Mac knowledge and the Mac experience with other computer users, Mac, Windows, otherwise. Why? L-O-V-E. It sure wasn’t for money.
As a sad week in our history comes to an end, I thought I could share with you some news, statistics, facts, lies, and other worthless tidbits of information. You can do that on Fridays. There’s a law that allows it. I think…
Tera has written more articles than the rest of us put together. Carol and I are the last to join the group, but only after I promised to stop using Windows.
Alexis is the youngest. Ron the oldest. Then Tera, me, Bambi. Oh, Bambi isn’t her real name. It’s ‘Barbara Marie.’ That stacks up well against ‘Tera Jean.’
If you’re doing math, that also means I’ve been using Macs the fewest number of years. Tera and Ron were early adopters and boast owning an original 128k Mac (see… they’re old).
The site is served from a PowerMac G5 using Mac OS X Tiger Server (though, that’s about to change).
Mac360 generates about 3,000 or so visitors each day, and about 6,000 page views. That varies depending on the article, what’s happening in Macdom, etc.
Some days, the stats hit 9,000 visitors and nearly 20,000 page views.
Over the past six months, the browser of choice for Mac360 readers is Safari at 46-percent. Next is Internet Explorer at 27-percent (almost all are Windows versions), then Firefox at 20-percent (over half are Windows users).
That leads us to believe that many Mac users are captive Windows users at work. That’s sad. Linux users make up less than 1-percent of all readers, but the number continues to grow. That’s not sad.
Previous to this week, the site was fully non-commercial, though we ran advertising and promos. The ads displayed were part of Ron’s phpAdsNew banner ad distribution application. Non-commercial means we didn’t make any money.
As a test, this week we added Google’s AdSense text ads into the phpAdsNew system. They’ve generated a whopping $12.71 so far. That makes us a commercial site. Sorry.
Tera wanted to integrate a Forum from the early days but waited for the pMachine Expression Engine Forum module. So far, it’s worked quite well, and generates about 20-percent of all page views.
Among forum posters, Tera said Kyle was the most obnoxious, Jeff the most precise and prolific, Bambi the queen of snipe, and she reserved the title of ‘Most Fun Babe’ for herself. No argument from me.
Lies and other Non-truths
Those are real photos of Bambi. She loves to eat. So much so that she’s willing to display photos of when she was younger and obviously didn’t eat so much.
Tera was not a porn star. Alexis is not blonde. Ron does not surf.
There’s not much money in running a web site (see above) so the four stooges started it purely for the love of it. I’m the fifth stooge.
“Mac360 gets hammered by spammers and hackers. Most servers do. So far, Mac OS X Server been rock solid secure.”Tera does NOT use Windows or any Microsoft product. Ever. She’s a purist. The rest of us have realities to deal with and become tainted from time to time.
As much as we love the Mac, we’re all for Open Source tools and applications, and actively work toward both Mac success and LAMP success.
LAMP is Linux, Apache web server, MySQL database, and the PHP scripting language. They’re usually free, very popular, very powerful, relatively easy to set up (Alexis did it on her Mac mini, and got a gold star from Tera).
Events: Past and Present and Future
Other than the site’s launch and Tera’s health problems, we’ve been eventless.
Oh, except for the meltdown of an old PowerMac G4 (733mhz) in the early days. A Slashdot or something. The hits were so constant that the Mac died, and all the bandwidth got sucked up.
We just moved the Mac360 site to a server in California. That should speed up page loads. The Google ads help pay for that expense.
Mac360 gets hammered by spammers and hackers. Most servers do. Mac OS X Server was rock solid secure. Some spammers post in the Comments section, and in the Forums. Each of us get a copy of the posts, so we can delete the offensive ones quickly.
Tera’s original objective for the site was to have fun and share. The idea is to find good Mac software, try it out, share what we learn with others.
Tera also wanted to expose users to the evil of Microsoft. Having come from that side of the world (it’s dark there), I understand.
Oh, we pay for the software we review (which may account for why there are fewer hardware reviews). That’s a Tera directive again. I’d like to run a site where I review new cars. Of course, I’ll need a week to review each one, supplied by the manufacturer…
In summary, I think Tera would agree that Mac360 is about a spirit of enjoyable computing best embodied by using a Mac. Apple’s adventures and Microsoft’s evil nature just add to the enjoyment.