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FAQ: Questions about AfterDawn.com -- site, company and servers.

Discussion in 'AfterDawn feedback & suggestions' started by dRD, Aug 8, 2004.

  1. dRD

    dRD I hate titles Staff Member

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    Ok, I thought I might launch a separate thread that tries to address some of the most frequently asked questions about our site's technical structure and about our site's ownership base, etc. You're welcomed to ask questions and I'll update this first post accordingly when more info gets added. Also, for the technical part, I'm not an expert to say how our boxes work, but I'll liaise with Ketola to get you insight for that one as well.

    1. Who owns AfterDawn.com?

    AfterDawn.com is owned by AfterDawn Oy. The "Oy" means same as "LLC" means in States and "Ltd" means in the UK -- a limited company, a company that has more than X shareholders, but is not listed in stock markets.

    All of the shareholders of the company are also the original founders of the site itself. I am the CEO of the company.

    2. What forum software you use? phpBB? vBulletin?

    Our forum software is "homemade" by me. It doesn't have a single line of code from any other forum software as I wanted to create a forum that is tightly integrated into our site's technical structure and that can be twisted and bend as much as possible when needed. And also because I like programming :)

    3. Do you guys use PHP?

    No, we don't use PHP. Or ASP. Or Java. We use application server called ColdFusion MX. Why? Because I have worked as a CF developer since 1998 and I develop faster and better with it than with any other web scripting language.

    4. Who has made your site's layout?

    One of our owners/staff members, a guy called Teemu Pärssinen, is our gfx guy. All the graphics on our sites are made by him.

    5. How many users do you have?

    We have currently (15th September, 2004) over 190,000 registered users in our user database (excluding "inactive" users).

    6. How do you make money? Or do you make money at all?-)

    Yes, we do make some money :) However, we don't have any full-time employees, all of us are still in "real life jobs", so its seriously not a very good "get-rich-quickly" scheme to setup a website :) We make money from advertisements -- banners, popunders, etc.

    7. How many servers you have running the site?

    Currently (15th September, 2004) we have five dedicated servers running the website.

    ...continues later...
    _X_X_X_X_X_[small]Petteri Pyyny
    Webmaster
    http://AfterDawn.com/


    Please read our guides before posting questions! Guides are available here:
    http://www.afterdawn.com/guides/[/small]
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2004
    nimd4 likes this.
  2. samuraicb

    samuraicb Member

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    I have a question
    How many different types of members are there (eg newbie, junior member) and what do they mean?
     
  3. flip218

    flip218 Moderator Staff Member

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  4. agent-k

    agent-k Regular member

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    How does the site make money?
    Is it purely by the advertising revenue?
     
  5. dRD

    dRD I hate titles Staff Member

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    agent-k: Yes, all of our income comes from variety of advertisements. So, we've tried throughout our existance to balance on the fine line to make the site as clean and nice as possible and to try to have enough ads on pages to make decent income from ads.

    By balancing ads/user experience, I mean decisions like not to allow popUPs ever (but we do use popunders) on our site, not to have banners on our homepage (or forums homepage), not to have bottom banners, to have only limited number of skyscrapers, etc. And even the most hated form of ads that appears on our site -- popunders -- are limited to one per user session, so you shouldn't ever see more than one popunder (those things that open behind your current browser session rather than on top of it) when browsing our site.

    Years 2001-2002 were very, very bad for our site in terms of income, as the Big Advertisement Slump began around Jan/2001 and lasted for two years -- during this time we had to ask users for donations, had to use our personal credit cards, etc to pay for the servers and keep the site running :) Nowadays we're finally financially on solid ground -- even today its not a great business, all admins still do go to "real life jobs", but its still much, much better than what it was two years ago or so.
     
  6. agent-k

    agent-k Regular member

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    drD,
    thanks for replying so quickly.
    Considering the size of the site and the number of members, I am surprised to hear that it is not as profitable as I had expected.
    I really did think you were all sitting in the sun drinking cocktails with your feet resting on the rear spoiler of you Porsche Carrera.

    As far as the site ads are concerned I congratulate you on their subtlety. They are not 'in your face' at all, unlike many other sites.
    The popups and popunders don't affect me at all as I never get advertisements filling my screen, ever, not a single one.
    How will the introduction of Windows SP2 affect your business in terms of dealing with potential advertisers. As you know it has higher security settings and a built in popup blocker. Advertisers must be aware of this and the fact that less people are going to be seeing their adverts. How will you justify to them that they should be spending their advertising budget with you?
     
  7. dRD

    dRD I hate titles Staff Member

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    Actually, over the last year or so, we've managed to push up the banner advertisement sales (you might have noticed couple of large campaigns over the last couple of months, like Nero) and thus make the percentage of income that we get from popunders to fall in the level where even the full disappearing of popunders in form of advertisements wouldn't "kill the site" -- it would cause some serious thinking in terms of our sidekick projects (dawnload.net, mp3lizard.com, blasteroids.com) whether to continue them at all, but in terms of AfterDawn.com itself, it wouldn't cause sleepless nights, just some re-thinking of advertisements (would probably have to introduce more skyscrapers, text-embedded ads, etc).

    One thing obviously is interesting to think about -- if SP2 and other forms of popup/under killers eventually kill the form of pop ads, what will replace it? My guess is that interstitials will do that -- sorta commercial breaks between page loads. And in my mind, those can be even more annoying that pops -- but that is what people have voted for when they decide to get rid of ads. As I've stated many times -- if everybody would block every single ad when visiting our site, the site would be closed or turned into a pay-per-view site.

    The Porsche Carrera GT sounds nice, but is more of a daydreaming than reality -- driving a Volvo V40 now that is still mostly owned by bank ;-) But for the Carrera dream to become reality, site would have to grow from current ~15M page impressions a month to 150M page impressions a month with virtually no new expenses (apart from new servers to the cluster), so I think its still a bit too early for that ;-)
     
  8. agent-k

    agent-k Regular member

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    Thanks for the conversation drD,
    I'll let you get back to your work now.
    Tell the masseuse she can carry on where she left off.
     
  9. dRD

    dRD I hate titles Staff Member

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    LOL :) Hope I answered your question :)
     
  10. OAKside24

    OAKside24 Regular member

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    I hope AfterDawn becomes the biggest forum on the internet and rakes in billions. Because as long as it continues to benefit all these people [incl. me] I am truely grateful to the people who Made It Happen.

    Thanks for limiting the advertisements, it really makes a big difference. Some of my favorite gamesites [Gamespy/IGN/Gamespot] don't know how to control ads so I simply don't visit. I came here to complain about the new "click-an-outside-link-and-get-an-ad-first" ads, but I am now understanding the situation better. These forums still rock!

    Thanks everyone for all the help and good times. What? I'm only a Junior-M? Lots more good times to come then, I guess!
     
  11. Doggy_Bot

    Doggy_Bot Guest

    Multi billion dollar buisness...you never know???
     
  12. mattn1979

    mattn1979 Guest

    Hey All,
    Wow you guys have alot of users, The more the better.

    Cheers
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2005
  13. chatter

    chatter Member

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    how much does it cost to download just asking because my partner thinks there might be a charge
     
  14. dRD

    dRD I hate titles Staff Member

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    Our site is provided completely free of charge for our users, we (try to) make money out of advertising banners shown on our site instead to fund our operations, pay the servers, etc.
     
  15. Uvlak

    Uvlak Guest

    How do you go from newbie to the next level??? just by posting stuff and having friends???
     
  16. weazel200

    weazel200 Regular member

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    @Uvlak
    Newbie to Junior Member -- 25 posts
    Junior Member to Member -- 100 posts
    Member to Senior Member -- 500 posts
    Senior Member to Addict -- 2500 posts
    anyone to Moderator -- determination and bribes to admins
    anyone to Admin -- decent six-figure (euros or dollars, we are not picky) lump sum to AfterDawn's Swiss bank account
     
  17. Uvlak

    Uvlak Guest

    oh thanks for responding so fast
     
  18. weazel200

    weazel200 Regular member

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    One day I wonder if someone will actually do number 6 on the list.
     
  19. Uvlak

    Uvlak Guest

    Wuts that mean give um money
     
  20. Uvlak

    Uvlak Guest

    how do i get a pic when i post stuff cause when ever i post an advertisment is thier
     

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