Do We Really Need More Web Hosting Directories? - Making Money from Chaos
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Even after I matched a hosting company to a client, I continued to log my experience with them from beginning to end on note pads. In that case, if I ever needed a similar hosting service I could recollect what the pros and cons were when dealing with a particular company. As you could imagine, I ended up with an awful lot of dead tree material on my desk!
My notes were all over the place; honestly, it was getting really out of control. It was then that I decided to put it all online. In the beginning I really intended it more for my own personal use, so that I could access the information from wherever I was located at the time. As it turned out, this became a novel idea. I'm sure you can see the application for it; just consider the convenience factor. When you are traveling across the country meeting with prospective clients, and discussing their requirements for a given online project, it's handy to be able to bring up a well-researched list of web hosts that could meet their needs.
After a few months time, other developers started to stop by to visit this very rudimentary site and I began to receive a lot of positive feedback on it. I really enjoyed keeping the site up to date with all of my notes on each of these hosting companies. I even began to rate the hosts depending on several factors such as customer service, hardware used, ISPs used, response time, and such. The site looked great on a resume, and helped me land a few larger clients such as Honeywell and US West telco. But one side benefit I had never intended also happened - I was contacted by several hosting companies that asked whether they could advertise on the site.
I thought this was an interesting proposition. I mean, why not? I put all the work into the site, it would be nice if I could pay a few extra bills with the advertising dollars. Things started slow at first, but in a very short matter of time I had a waiting list of advertisers and their budgets were growing rapidly (as was the Internet in general). I quit my full time job as well as my other programming gigs and ran the directory full time. But soon I was in a quandary - hosting companies who were advertising with me wanted special favors in the way of better ratings on the site, in return for them continuing to advertise. With a large wait list I was able to turn those people away and stay true to my feelings on each of the hosting services.
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