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Gcities, it's good to see someone in Sydney running a free web server. btw will you be rotating Aussie and international ads in your new ad banner which will be placed on member pages? It would be good to see some Aussie ads for a change.
It seems like the Free stuff business is somewhat entering an 'internet mall' stage where all things are combined.

If we see yahoo taking over geocities and offering free webspace, webmail, 'search engine' (you know what I mean), shopping mall, ...

NBC is doing pretty much the same with it's http://www.nbci.com

Microsoft is doing pretty much te same... it's just a matter of time before they buy up some FWP.

What they all seem to have in common:

  • Free webspace
  • Free webbased email
  • News
  • Link directory
  • Shopping Mall (with affiliates)
  • Software

I think the shopping mall concept is very interesting, also for the smaller FWP's as it gives the ability to make some extra revenue. You already have the online community... it's like bringing the mall to people's homes. You have to face it, once people sign up for your service, they don't really have any more reason to keep visiting it... If you offer information, a shopping mall with bargains, etc. You'll have alot more return traffic.

Just my 2.5 cents :)
Originally posted by drunkmule
Like I said I don't plan to live off the profit that the company makes. I want to do this for the good of the net. If I make $10 in my first month, I'll be very happy. If I don't I'll just wait til next month, If I see no profit is made. I'll change some things around. But I don't plan to invest thousands of dollars into it yet.

Even if you do the completely lame, 'buy an unlimited space account from a paid web provider', and then give some of it away, you won't see $10 profit your first month.

If you decide to get a dedicated server, plan on months of being in the red. You may never earn a profit, let alone your first month. Businesses like this are risky at best.