Some Confederation Technical Details
Each confederation is unique. On this page we describe some high level technical aspects of a confederation to help candidates evaluate the costs and benefits of confederating with Webstart. Promising confederation candidates are content developers who already support Web page sets with a project or personal interest focus. At some point such page sets can reach a level of development and readership where they need an independent source of support. We generally find that a readership of from 300 to 800 page views (not "hits") per day is adequate to begin considering advertising. Page sets that receive over 1000 page views a day are quite promising and should be seriously considered for advertising development.
Candidate page sets may have been developed in an academic setting where no financial support was provided. They may have been developed in a commercial setting where a project supported them initially, but they have grown to the point where they need an independent source of support - and the business involved does not deal with such support through advertising revenue. Regardless of the exact situation, the common factor is a developing reader base and inadequate financial support.
In such a case Webstart can help get the page set started with Web advertising support. We enumerate below example steps in commercializing a set of Web pages with Webstart confederation (starting in step 2). Note that the steps and specific form below are just an example. There are many forms of confederation possible and with the technology of the Internet/Web changing as rapidly as they are it is quite possible that a given confederation would take quite a different form. The key factor is sharing sponsors and advertising infrastructure and revenue, but the steps below can give an indication of the sort of confederation possible.
Obtaining a DNS name currently costs $150. $100 of this goes to the Network Information Center for their well known and controversial fee. The remaining $50 goes to Webstart for setting up the DNS hosting. If you already have a DNS name you save $100. At present it is possible to avoid any recurring costs for a DNS name except the $50/year that the NIC requires. This DNS name (e.g. www.myset.com) becomes your property. At Webstart we believe it is important to provide you as a content developer with the freedom to move your content with your DNS name to any host of your choosing and to sever your relationship with Webstart. We exchange a 6 month initial commitment and a 3 month notice of intent to dissolve our relationship (from either side). At present (and hopefully always) we do not use contracts to insure this commitment. We work entirely with e-mail and/or verbal commitments. The $150 cost for your DNS name is your only out of pocket expense for confederating with Webstart (beyond your computer and Internet access). From that point on any financial transactions will be advertising revenue transferred to you from Webstart.
<!--#exec cmd="/u1/webstart/mods/ad.pl" -->
to each of your web pages. This should be a one time modification. The SSI interface will supply this ad.pl module with enough information to determine where the ad is being placed (namely into your page) and the other information it needs to make an ad selection and to do appropriate logging (e.g. to log a credit to you for a page view). Webstart will provide all needed support for placing advertising through these modules. There are additional details involved in placing map ads and/or search pattern specific ads.
Our current policy is to split advertising revenue evenly with our confederated content developers after deducting charges for disk space, Internet traffic from our presence provider. You pay for your own computer system and Internet access and for your Domain Name. After the initial six months we are each free to renegotiate or sever the relationship with a 3 month notice. We deal with the sponsors (though you are free to solicit them) and pay you from the advertising revenue. Cross advertising with other Webstart confederaed page sets is handled without cash exchange. Cross posted advertising page views are credited or debited according to whether a page view is supplied or used.
This program may not be exactly a free lunch, but we expect it is about as close to one as you are likely to find. If you have a page set that you believe is a promising candidate for commercialization, we urge you to address its intellectual property issues and then contact us. Please send your initial correspondence to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Describe your situation, let us know how many page views your page set is currently delivering and send us a URL so that we can evaluate its potential.
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