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From time to time a person asks me why I do this. Why do I take the time to create and maintain this website? Why do I answer hundreds of requests for help? Why do I give people my home phone number (no one else does this that I know of) so that they may discuss their 'puter problems with a real person?
Here are the answers. First and foremost, "What goes around, comes around". I like to talk to people, but I hate to type. By helping people with their 'puter problems I become more knowledgeable. I tend to re-learn things that I've forgotten. You help me to refine my tech support skills. I have hopes of getting a job in the 'puter tech support field when Amy and I get off the road. When a prospective employer asks me about my ability to give good and understandable answers, I'll be able to point to this website, and all of the letters and emails I'm received thanking me for my help.
The next big questions I usually get are "Why don't I charge for my services?", "Why don't I have a 900 number or something like that?" or "Why don't I charge a subscription fee, like a retainer?"
The main reason why I don't charge for my services is because I'm still learning. I do not know all the answers yet! Plus since we drive truck over the road, I'm not home often enough and sometimes you have to wait awhile for me to answer you.
In this day of bad service, people really don't care if you're happy as long as they have your money. I feel it's important to provide the service first, with no strings attached! Then if the client feels that (s)he received good value, it's at that point that a gift of thanks could be given.
If any of you wish to say thank you, there are many ways to do so. You can spread the word about my website. Vote in the poll. Take my website survey. Refer a friend to my newsletter. Refer a friend to the website. Start using one of my free web-based email accounts. Send me a nice email or a postcard (you'd be amazed how many people send me requests for help, then after I spend time answering them, they never tell me if my suggestion worked, or to say thank you). If you work in the 'puter industry, tell your boss about me and my website. I am looking for a job.
If you truly feel that my effort deserves a physical thank-you, trust me, I won't turn it down! In real money this website does cost me. I'm always needing (wanting) new 'puter hardware and software. Windows 2000 set me back $269.99. Do I want it? Nope! But I do need to learn it.
So send me an email and tell me how my website or I have helped you. I promise not to get a swelled head :-)
For those that want to mail something here is my address:
12087 Lincoln Way NW
Massillon, Ohio 44647
Since Amy and I are on the road most of the time, please send any packages here:
I hope to keep this website free to all. So a thank you really makes it worthwhile to me.
I have tried to avoid this for as long as possible, but now I need to ask for help from you. While all of the above is still how I feel... plus the fact that I believe that information in the internet should be free... I feel lousy writing this part of the web page.
The simple fact is that PuterGeek.Com is getting too expensive for me to afford at this time. Between actual costs of maintaining the website, other costs like website positioning software, buying scripts, paying for keywords at GoTo.Com, and so on...this whole project has gone far past the hobby stage for me.
Just the website hosting and domain name registration costs me $730 US per year. I am fast approaching the need to upgrade to a bigger/faster server at my host which will increase the above costs to $1210 US per year. I do not wish to move the website to another host, nor is any of the free or low cost web-hosting services a viable option. I get far too many hits per month, plus the need for the level of control I get with my current host is a must.
In this last year I have spent $800+ on misc. software, services, fees, etc... that I would not have spent if I did not maintain PuterGeek.Com. Please note: I'm really not whining here.... I have no regrets about what I've spent on the website to date, I simply want to explain what's going on here for those of you who may not realize the costs of maintaining a ...ahem... popular website.
I've thought long and hard about how PuterGeek.Com could generate some $$$ to pay for itself. I do NOT want to plaster ads or banners all over the website. I've decided to pull the site before I do that! I have set up the ability to show one (1) banner at the top of most pages on the site. I will NOT subscribe to a banner ad service or give up control of what banners are placed there to anyone. Unfortunately, nobody (with the exception of Quality Computers) has shown any interest at all in paying to put a banner there. The same goes for the newsletter. While I think that one or two text based ads in the newsletter would be OK, nobody has shown any interest.
People have told me to start charging for the help I give...NOPE! You can read my reasons why up above. This is also why this page is not more readily obvious throughout the site. I don't want new-comers to feel obligated to pay for my help! Most long-time PuterGeek users eventually find their way to this page, and by then most of you have a good idea of what I offer and do.
This is what I'd like to see... I hope to generate about $1500 US per year. I'll take donations by cash, (out of state, or out of country... I'm not picky) check, 'puter parts, software (ask me what I'm planning to get), and so on... any size donation is great...from a $1 to ???
PayPal You can now sponsor PuterGeek.Com through the PayPal system. If you haven't heard of PayPal just click the link to get more info... It's a great service! While PayPal charges me .30 per payment received and around 2% per credit card payment received, it is the best most hassle free system I've found. Take a look and see what you think.
Here's what I can offer... I'll start a sponsor page where I'll list (with your permission) your first name, last initial, and city / state / country, as well as for how long you've been a PuterGeek sponsor. Optionally, you'll be put on a special email list that I'll use to tell you ahead of time when I'll be home in case you have a question, or need/want phone help (you still pay for the call). I will also use this list to email you about anything that I feel is of interest without waiting to put it into the newsletter... including some of the more geeky stuff that I've chosen not to put into the newsletter.
If you have a product, business, etc.. that would interest my website or newsletter viewers please contact me about using my one (1) ad banner space (I rotate it by percentage... just refresh this page to see what I mean), or putting a "text-only" ad in my newsletter.
Here's an idea worth exploring! Want to say something special to a loved one? Ever see someone rent a billboard? Want to do the same on PuterGeek.Com? Email me and we'll discuss it.
Again, let me make sure you understand me. I will NEVER ask for payment for any of the help I give on the website! But the fact is that this website is getting rather costly for me, so if you'd like to help PuterGeek.Com please feel free to do so.
I hope that reading the above doesn't make you think less of me or my website. I've tried to make this as low-key as possible.
I am no longer able / willing to pay the hosting fees for PuterGeek.Com. This started out as a "hobby", something to do in my spare time...hehe, but it has grown into a rather large monster! As of now, I am not updating the site, I need a break. I was going to shut the website down and take it offline but I've been talked out of doing so.
The website will stay up and online as the as the hosting bills are paid by those who us this website. Since considerable effort has been made to get plenty of bandwidth, keep all the pages working, all the scripts working as they should...moving the site to a free or less costly host is not an option that I'm willing to explore. I hate going to a slow website, and I'd rather shut this one down before that happens.
The Sponsor page and email list is currently not being maintained. Nor am I answering very many emails...to be blunt, I need some time off after 3+ years on this site. I realize that the web should be free...and I'm sorry to have to do this, but it's either the site pays it's own bills, or it will be shut down.
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