scouts-l Mail Archive for May of 2000: Re: no-charge unit web site hosting
Michael F. Bowman (mfbowman@BELLATLANTIC.NET
Wed May 10 2000 - 22:17:21 CDT
You've raised a tough question. Most of the places that offer free hosting
are now moving towards all manner of banner adds and branding on their
sites. Some that were offering free hosting are starting to charge. The
trend is beginning to be clear and the result obvious. We space is a
commercial commodity. To use it you either have to pay or bring value to
the owner (through banners and advertising).
If you are going to have to pay, then do some shopping. There are some
excellent host sites that offer relatively inexpensive hosting and certainly
cheaper than $26/month. I have a commercial site that is hosted for about
$9 a month and with that I get to use my own domain name. Total cost for a
year of hosting and registering a domain name was about $200. With that I
get 80 MB of storage. The firm I use was purchased by getsite.com, which
offers a similar deal.
That is a good bit of money and for those that have somebody willing to foot
the bill, it is still not a bad deal. But for the majority of folks, that
still is too much $$. So what's the solution? Well this is one of those
things where BSA's local Council's could help the units directly. In almost
every Council area there are business firms, ISPs, and others with servers
that could host several Scouting sites. Doing so would be a public service.
Instead of units trying to get their own resources, it would seem to me to
make more sense for Councils to try to work out a few deals with some major
sources in the local area to provide hosting. What would the donor get? If
worked out correctly, the donor might be able claim a tax deductable
donation of time and services to BSA (something the unit can't offer).
Better yet it might give BSA an leg-up on getting the same firm into the FOS
line-up as a cash contributor too.
For BSA it could be a great way to show volunteers that they are getting
something from the fundraising/charitable drive efforts, which would have
good PR value within Scouting. It could at the same time improve community
relations with businesses that are moving into the fastest growing segment
of the economony, which in the long-term could mean more financial support
as the relationships cement. So my suggest would be to raise the issue
within each Council and work the suggestion up to the Executive Boards.
This is really the only way to assure that BSA unit site can go up on the
web without some sort of advertising support from the host, unless you just
get lucky and find a charitable organization willing to do the hosting.
Michael F. Bowman email@example.com
Vice President, http://usscouts.org
U.S. Scouting Service Project, Inc.