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#1191 2007-10-30 GMT-5 hours    
Dear members,
If you haven't noticed, we just approved our ten thousandth photo. Looks like it's time to celebrate. Thanks to everyone for making it happen and making the site a success. We've come a long ways in exactly seven months since site launch. In my opinion, the site has improved considerably since it's early days and more enhancements are planned. I'd like to thank everyone for their efforts and also their comments and suggestions. The site is here for you guys and wouldn't be anything without the members and the hundreds of photographers taking the time to upload photos. Thanks y'all, see you at 100,000.

-Ray

This is the oldest I've ever been.

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Jez


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#1192 2007-10-30 GMT-5 hours    
Good stuff Ray. It seems that the site becomes more and more user friendly every time I log on. Such is progress. Keep up the good work everyone.

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#1193 2007-10-30 GMT-5 hours    
Great work so far ray keep going like this!

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Jörg


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N74JW


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#1194 2007-10-30 GMT-5 hours    
Great stuff!!! Keep up the effort?

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aeromilitaria


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#1199 2007-10-30 GMT-5 hours    
Congrats, Ray! The "Argentine branch" is glad to contribute with your outstanding site...

I'm concerned, though, about the sustained development of Airfighters on a financial footing. Is development and hosting funding available for the long run?

Yours,
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#1211 2007-10-31 GMT-5 hours    
Thanks guys, it's good to know all the work done is being appreciated.

Financially, we're ok for now I would say. Hosting isn't too expensive yet, but I know that eventually it will cost several hundred dollars/month for bandwidth reasons. Not necessarily space, as that is not too expensive these days, but to keep the site performance high it will cost a good chunk of money each month. Personally I hate running those flashy banners ads and I will try my best to keep them off the site as long as I can, and maybe forever. The Google ads currently on the site, believe it or not, are generating only pennies a day. With thousands of pages displayed per day, you'd be surprised as to how few clicks we get. Part of it could be that the site is very narrowly focused and thus the same ads keep re-appearing over and over again for many photos. Those of you have websites and do run Google ads know how little there is per click.

Long term though we do have to think of viable ways to generate revenue for the site. Many, many of you have contacted me about donating to the site and I really appreciate it. Some sort of income will provide for better hosting and of course the ability to pay for articles, more development, and other features. What are some ways you guys can think of to generate revenue for the site and provide benefits to the members as well?

-Ray

This is the oldest I've ever been.

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#1294 2007-11-07 GMT-5 hours    
OK, I feel guilty, been away for a while...

So, CONGRATS Ray, for producing such a fine site!!!

Painter, AKA The Dutch Connection...

Smoke on...Go!

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Ghostbase


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#1298 2007-11-08 GMT-5 hours    
Another CONGRATS due today, Tim Felce achieved 500 uploads which is a first here. I am not far behind Tim, though of course am not counting at all :wink

Regards raising revenue, a difficult area. I would hate to see more adverts and it is refreshing to have a photo site which has a minimum of adverts of all types. Perhaps it all depends upon your business model, your long-term view of what this site will do, what it will become? As I understand it you can:

1) Charge members a fee to not see any adverts and have access to a news service.

2) Charge photographers to upload all their precious photos to a secure storage facility. Then does not matter if my house burns down and all my negatives go with it!

3) Charge photographers for displaying their photos on a public site which is regularly looked at by organisations which want to use their photos commercially and will pay for the privilege. Perhaps act as a proactive photo 'dating agency' generating contacts with those who are looking for images they can use commercially.

4) Charge visitors to view a large closed database of superior quality or historically significant military aircraft photos. These types of sites do exist on the 'net though they are rare.

Regards the above I think:

(1) Is intrinsically dishonest, you build up to a database level then make it annoying to view the photos unless $ are paid However the most successful site out there does exactly this!

(2) Is possible and I think viable but to do this you have to stop moderating photos in the way you do now; I as the paying photographer decide which photos I upload to my split level 1 GB Airfighters.Com space which I have paid for. Airfighters would have a two level system where my best photos in YOUR opinion would go into a publicly accessible and heavily promoted database while the not-so-good photos (in your opinion of course!) would be accessible by a link but not actively promoted. I could even pay a premium for me to decide which photo is which level

(3) Actually this would be a welcome service for some photographers. Personally I *hate* selling or promoting myself or my work and I am really bad at it, despite literally hundreds of e-mails from interested people I have not made a single cent (Euro or Dollar) from my work. Or a penny! To have someone do this for me, a sort of broker, would be such a help and if I was inclined to sell my work I would be prepared to pay someone who helped me do this.

(4) Perhaps worth thinking about when the Airfighters.Com database hits 1,000,000 or more. Seriously, charge visitors to view the best of the best. I think they would pay too.

The danger here is that we look backwards, we might say well Airliners or Jetphotos does this or that and it works and we should do the same but that is treading old ground and might not be the best practice here for the future. The question is do you see Airfighters as being for the viewer or the photographer? At this stage I think it is the photographer until the site hits a critical mass (which is a way off yet) so perhaps energy should be expended in providing a premium service to the photographer and charging for such.

Them's my disjointed thoughts for what little they are worth. I believe that the largest on-line database is going to go badly downhill over the next couple of years and if Airfighters has the right product in place it will pick a lot of disaffected photographers and viewers as a result.

Michael aka 'Ghostbase'

"Rolling..." B-36H serial 51-5734 Film 'Strategic Air Command' 1955 - Six Turning and Four Burning!

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#1312 2007-11-09 GMT-5 hours    
Thanks Michael. I finally had a chance to read this thread and your post. You raise some valid points and offer some great ideas. Let me do a little bit of thinking of what is and isn't possible, and I will post a response here soon.

-Ray

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