Macworld Expo in NY Becomes Seybold-Like

It seemed only a matter of time, but the Macworld Expo in New York has morphed into CREATE, according to Apple will still participate, but the change has probably saved them millions of dollars without completely diminishing the value of the show.At Macworld Expos, Apple sends hordes of employees to deal with briefings, crowd control, demos of new hardware, etc. It's easy to see that they spend several million to handle their end of the show. (The San Francisco show involves mostly local Apple employees who only need to commute to San Francisco for the day--no plane fare, no hotel room nights.) More recently, Apple decided they wanted to uncouple product announcements from events, to keep the market for products from constantly collapsing prior to each show. I wouldn't be surprised if they have a financial analysis that shows that beyond the hard costs associated with Macworld/NY they also had millions in soft costs for deferred or halted sales, and obsolete equipment they had to clear out of the channel. I went to the New York show for the first time last year, and I didn't plan to return. Not only is it a lousy time to be in the Big Apple -- it was the hottest week of the summer last year -- and Javits a pain in the apple to get to, but there just wasn't the critical mass of people and products and news to make it a real event.

Unilateral Scientology Link Spam?

I received this very odd message. Can this be for real?We are a marketing company that has been hired by the Church of Scientology to build a strong reciprocal link program. We would like very much to exchange links with your site, but to do it with a twist. Do to a long standing policy that prohibits the Church of Scientology from reciprocating links, we are not able to provide a link back. However, we do have a few sites that we could link you with. If you would be interested in participating this link exchange, please visit our link exchange information site and choose the sites that best fit you. Link Exchange Information Site:
Ignite Business Solutions
It's spam, for starters, followed by Scientology, followed by Google link spamming. What gives?

1,000 Downloads at No Cost

Today's TidBITS article (see previous post) provoked over 1,000 downloads of the free electronic version of Real World Adobe GoLive and over $700 in donations from people trying to help me pay what's shaping up to be a $15,000 bandwidth bill. (See previous days for hte full story.)The difference with today's 1,000 downloads (about 15 Gb) is that about half went to Bare Bones FTP site, which isn't charged by bandwidth, and half to the Info-Mac archives, which are distributed across about 25 servers. No one of those servers, on average, handled more than about 20 downloads. This is how I should have started. If only I'd known the interest in GoLive!

Dark Days (Selfishly)

Even while war rages in Iraq, I'm selflishly wallowing in some bad times. They're only financial. No lives lost. No health damaged. No relationships severed. (If anything, tying myself tighter to others).A small backyard sewer repair and oil-tank project ballooned from $7,500 to as much as $25,000. A plan to give away Real World Adobe GoLive 6 as a free PDF might cost me $5,000 to $15,000 in bandwidth charges because of, well, too much interest in the book. Which hasn't sold very well in print. Hence the giveaway. And today's my birthday. I had a superb meal last night at a restaurant at which we know the regular chef -- she sent off endless amounts of delicious food. Really improved my mood. Today, I move forward at the beginning of my 35th year. I try to empathetic, expanding my consciousness outward to think about the folks battling not in my name in Iraq, while hoping that the outcome is swift and improves the Iraqi people's lot. And our own. All together now: it's only money. (And, P.S., my house has a lot of equity in it and interest rates are low. I'll get through it.)

Bandwidth Bill

Unfortunately, we just discovered that the number of downloads of this book -- nearly 10,000 -- could wind up costing literally thousands of dollars. Literally. We're using a colocation service that charges based on the 9th busiest hour in a month and charges thousands of dollars for the level of usage we might have achieved. We had no idea it was that high. This is, of course, all my fault.More news as we have it.


In the 32 or so hours since I posted this, we had 200 Gb or approximately 10,000 downloads of Real World Adobe GoLive 6. If one half of one percent of those people, or 50 folks, buy a copy of the book through then we might just pay our bandwidth bill (50 times $4.50 = $200).The files were located at a Level 3 co-located server run by a friend, and he pays a small monthly fee based on 95 percent of the time running at 1 Mbps or less. We ran at 20 Mbps on average yesterday. I have no idea what the bill will be! $200? $2,000? Part of the experiment. We may have to go shake a can and ask for $1 or $2 bandwidth donations (please!). Adobe may host the book -- still working on that -- reducing future bandwidth. I'm not sorry at any price that I did this (well, at $20,000 I would be). But it's yet another part of the puzzle.

Free Books Like Free Speech Not Free Boor

This essay by Tim O'Reilly got me thinking about a book I've co-written across three editions, Real World Adobe GoLive. The book has had a relatively short shelf life because of Adobe's rapid revision schedule in the first releases after it acquired the product, formerly called CyberStudio.The latest edition of the book has sold extremely poorly. I'm sure I'm revealing enormously damaging sales information for a tiny niche product, right? But my co-author Jeff Carlson and I put enormous effort into the book. There are certainly hundreds of thousands of GoLive 6 users based on all the numbers we know about, and only a tiny fraction have purchased our book. (Because of returns on previous editions, we're in the hole for the book across editions, making it difficult to earn out the advance.) So what's the solution? Revel in obscurity and restrict the information, hard-won and documented that we put together? No. Taking a page from O'Reilly's essay and some other ideas we've experimented with, we've released the entire book as a free, but copyrighted, PDF today at the book's Web site. We figure that it's worth sharing the book with the rest of the world because the sales are so low we're not sabotaging any channels. If anything, we hope that people will read the electronic version, and decide that instead of printing a 922-page book out, they'll buy the print edition. Maybe it'll improve sales. But if nothing else, we've thrown the book into light instead of letting it slip into the void, obscure and unavailable. In the next few days, Adam Engst and I, co-authors on The Wireless Networking Starter Kit, will release an electronic edition of that book that will be sold. We won't copy protect it, but will rely on the nature of the Internet to spread ideas and hopefully result in some income. Ebooks are still in their infancy because people don't interact with them the way they do print editions. That's partly because ebooks need to take more advantage of the medium in which they operate, and that's tough. Developing interactive resources requires lots of creativity and effort. Writing books is hard and involved in an entirely different fashion.