Strange Internet Trip 1/18/18
Happy New Year! I meant to post this back in October, but
then things got crazy-busy.
Things have certainly been interesting with this site
since it began. Just to give you a little history...I
started working for our friend
Ask Jeeves, back in 1995. He got me started in
this crazy world of the Internet. He gave me a computer,
paid for my connection, etc. and I helped him start Ask
Jeeves. In the meantime, he encouraged me to
learn HTML so I could create web pages. I learned from a
book he bought me! It was very easy back then. Later I
Microsoft Frontpage because I hate coding. Now I use
Expression Web, for the most part.
Anyway, people who had web sites back then put up photos
of their family, friends and pets; they talked about their
hobbies; and they made links pages. I did all that and more.
My hobbies, of course, included TV shows, so I made quite a
large site. This was all long before Facebook and Twitter.
In 2000, the site was too big, so we (my online friend
Amanda and I split off the TV site from my
personal site, and we got
many more volunteers, and started covering all of the soap
operas. I had previously only been covering "General
Hospital" and "All
My Children," although I watched
Ask Jeeves used to pay quite well for ads, so I got some
of those for my sites, as well as Amazon ads. At the
end of 2000, one quarter of the Ask Jeeves company was laid off,
including me. I did try to find another job (since I was on
unemployment), but I couldn't find anything that paid very
well, and that I was qualified for. I just concentrated on
building my site, and I did that full time. Eventually, I
turned it into an official corporation.
For awhile there, the ads paid pretty well for what was a
"fan site." It seemed to double every year, and I was
making around $10,000. However, a few things happened that
derailed my site, so now I make very little. (Not that I get
a salary or anything. Any money made goes back into the
I always spend some of my own money in the site. Even if
the ads pay for the hosting and domain name expenses, we
have mailing expenses (for our monthly prizes); and I always
buy gifts and cards at the holidays for our contributors. I
even ran up quite a credit card bill for the site back in
2008, when I thought we were going to be making a lot more
money. I ended up having to pay that sucker off from my
Here are the reasons we don't do as well as we used to:
1) The site was hacked and deleted in 2003, and it took
us a long time to fix it back up. We were getting over
300,000 unique visitors a day (now it's about a tenth of
that). It's never really recovered from that, in many ways.
2) People are more savvy about ads, so there is less ad
revenue. Most people don't click on ads, and many use ad
3) A lot fewer people watch TV shows than they did 20
years ago when we started. So that means less interest in
our site, since it's about TV! Even though there are certain
shows people love, and not all watch them on regular TV, it
still does hurt our site. Now, if I pandered to the audience
and only featured hit shows like "Game of Thrones" or
"Walking Dead" on my site, it would probably do better. I
can't do that, though. I only feature shows I watch and
4) The site always did well with soap operas, and
there were about a dozen soaps on the air when we started.
Now there are only 4 soaps and a lot fewer people watch
them. Strangely enough, though, we still get more visitors
to our soap opera pages than any other. We still are
the only site that has
daily transcripts for all of the
soaps, so that's why.
5) We have a lot more competition. There were only a few
good TV sites when I started, and most of them are gone.
Very few sites cover both daytime and primetime. Still, most
sites that are my real competition have funding that I
don't. Either someone has a savvy small business budget or
they're owned by a larger corporation. I can't compete with
that. Maybe one day...but not now.
6) Pop-up or Pop-Under ads were always the best-paying
ads on our site, and we can't use them any more.
Google and other sites we do business with have said they're
forbidden. Many of them just use too many sleazy tactics to
try to get you to click on them, and so most companies are
just saying no to them. However, they did pay well, so
they must have worked.
7) I've tried to find better ads to replace the ones
we've lost, but the only ones I've found so far either turn
out to be sleazy, or they don't pay well.
8) I don't have time to find more ads, get the coding,
and put it on our pages, and then figure out in a month or
so whether they work or pay much.
The good news it that we still keep plugging away. Our
site was never about making money. It's always been about
putting out great content that we hope people will like. I
don't believe in click bait or scams or ads for gambling. I
also think that if you're going to make a "top ten list"
that it should be all on one page. That's old school....
More good news is that we still have a great core group
of people who help me with the site every day. We still have
many fans. We're very active in social media (as much as I
have time to be, anyway). I'm back in school to try to
learn about how I can be a better journalist and improve the
site. Hopefully one day, we can make more money, which will
mean we can pay more people, and produce even more great
I will always say "we" because this is OUR page. Not just
mine. It's yours - the readers and the other volunteers. I
hope you enjoy it!
Come join our team if
you have a little free time...
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You can find my older blog posts at
- My personal blog, which is not about TV.
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Page updated 1/18/18