Coaster sites - Here, there, everywhere!

Thursday, July 12, 2001 9:25 PM
What is it with all of the new coaster sites popping up? And I'm not talking about the interesting ones, either. There are a bunch of new sites coming about that are EXACTLY like sites that already exist. Even the names are similar.

I keep getting emails from webmasters to check out their "hot new site," and when I do, there isn't anything different there than the places I've been going for the past couple of years.

I realize that enthusiasts have a passion for this stuff, and building a website is something alot of us can take pride in. Is it too much to ask that people come up with something new, rather than try to be the next Coasterbuzz or URC?

Has anyone else noticed this?

Jacob
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http://www.PKIGuide.com *** This post was edited by Jacob on 7/13/2001. ***
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Friday, July 13, 2001 4:59 AM
No, I think the opposite is true. Most sites are going away because the web masters think they can actually make a living at this by putting pop up windows and advertising banners on their site.

After a few months the web masters realize it's a full time job, then they get their bandwidth usage bill, then decide to quit.

Sure, I can see someone putting up a site dedicated to their favorite park, as a way to learn web programming, and to show off to friends. But to do this as a full time job, is a business.

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Robin Fox - "I see Stars, Can You See Them Too?"
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Friday, July 13, 2001 5:42 AM
Guess I better cancel that T-1. ;)

Making a living from advertising doesn't work, that is true. If you partner with the right ad firm, you can more than break even, but not enough to do anything other than catch a movie and dinner at Outback Steakhouse (with cheese fries and giant beers). CoasterBuzz can exist because I sell POP Forums. The forums help pay that $800 bill I get every month from my host (I'm their biggest bandwidth customer, lucky me). The cost will be going up next month when I get the T-1 to the house installed, but I'm doing other things that should help handle that cost as well.

We get a lot of new site submissions every day. We don't accept most of them. (You can see the latest adds on the home page.) Because of the "flood," I won't consider it unless it at least has good content, but good design isn't an automatic "in" either. I denied PKIguide.com originally because it wasn't complete, and that's a fine looking site. It's up now, and you should check it out.

The bottom line is that we won't accept sites that are junk, because we don't want to send people to junk sites. I know some other sites pride themselves on the number of links to other sites, but I prefer to filter out the crap.

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Jeff
Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
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Friday, July 13, 2001 6:58 AM
$800 a month? Geeze who's your host Jeff?

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Rollercoasters are the secret of life!

http://www.woodencoaster.com
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Friday, July 13, 2001 7:13 AM
Well, when you pass three times as much data than the average hard drive holds and you have a dedicated server all to yourself it's not cheap. I don't think people appreciate what it costs to serve thousands of people every day and deliver millions of pages every month.

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Jeff
Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
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Friday, July 13, 2001 7:25 AM
Thanks again Jeff!

I have my own site and it has tons of work to do even though it is a smaller site. I know people who have there own websites definatly how much money and hard work you put into this site. I found this site along time ago and have visited it daily since.

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www.geocities.com/coasting_ohio for Real/Defunct/mini coasters and parks for RCT
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Friday, July 13, 2001 7:33 AM
There is a new site out there that has pretty much cloned URC. Even the name is almost exact. Thing is, it's a great looking site, and put together well - alot of work obviously went into it. There's just nothing new there, and it doesn't look as if there is going to be.

Imitation is flattery, but CB and URC are already here. I wish people would put their web talents towards a new idea.

I don't know, maybe it's just me.

Jacob
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http://www.PKIGuide.com
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Friday, July 13, 2001 7:59 AM
I would just like to comment that if someone has an idea for a website and they dont first search for something similar, then the sites are going to be about the same. I know from a couple of personal examples (someone trying to sue me over my site). But all in all, I think that if the web has a lot of variety (of course there can only be one coasterbuzz and URC) then the web will have something for everyone.

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http://www.islandguide.8m.com
all about PKI
the Beasts` Den
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Friday, July 13, 2001 8:18 AM

Jeff said:
"Making a living from advertising doesn't work, that is true. If you partner with the right ad firm, you can more than break even, but not enough to do anything other than catch a movie and dinner at Outback Steakhouse (with cheese fries and giant beers). "


But when you partner with the wrong ad firm you can have major debt... :( Also you have to bring in major traffic to make money. I have made little money off of ads from my site and its has been up for several months and has about 500 hits a day. Not to mention I am in the hole about 700 bucks because of it. The reason I keep it up is because of the many emails I get thanking me for a great site.


What a lot people don't relize is the amount of work and time you have to put into a site to make it great. Anyone can go to the store and pick a web site program and make a good website. It is the websites that are updated a lot that will surive.

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Andrew
http://www.experiencethepoint.com *** This post was edited by Andrew on 7/13/2001. ***
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Friday, July 13, 2001 9:03 AM
I assume you mean "debt," but who are you partnering with that you pay them? That's insane. They're supposed to work for you, not vice versa.

And I disagree that anyone with FrontPage can make a good site. Microsoft might want you to think that, but it just ain't true.

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Jeff (who actually develops Web apps on Microsoft platforms for a living)
Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
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Friday, July 13, 2001 9:18 AM
I use Burst Media for ads. I don't pay them, I am just in debt because of server cost(20+ bucks a month, plus the money to connect the server to the net), buying the domain,etc.

I didn't just mean FrontPage(I still haven't mastered it yet) but web programs in general(Web Studio, Site Maker, etc.). Having used most web programs out there, I prefer Dreamweaver(for the actual site design) and FrontPage(for ASP scripts).

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Andrew(Who creates websites and manages a Microsoft server for a living).
http://www.experiencethepoint.com
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Friday, July 13, 2001 9:27 AM
I like it that people decide to put up a site about something they enjoy. It's good now that people can express their joy in their hobby. When I made the decision to launch my web site last year, it was only after I had ridden my first roller coaster. Scared to death, and really enjoyed it after forcing myself to do it again. I figured if this little 1st grader girl next to me, could do it, so could I.

So in two short years, I've ridden 144. (I've got to do over 20 years of catching up :) ) And when I talk to others I understand in your first zealous stages, you try to get your hands on everything coaster-related. With me, I intend to visit everyone in the world and take pictures. I just took over 3500 at CoasterCon XXIV alone!

I figure if I can let someone experience the ride virtually, if they can't physically, then I've done my job.

So in close, everyone's site may not be the most professionally built, but I love it that the average Joe builds a personal coaster site. For instance there may be 130 sites about Carowinds, just shows me the more enthusiasm people have!

And for advertising, I just decided I didn't want any on mine, so that it wouldn't encumber anyone. Because our #1 goal is to seek out coaster info. For me, it's writing reviews & taking pictures. It just takes forever to do each one, since each one is thoroughly researched.

But Jeff is correct, the bottom fell out of the advertising industry, you can't make a living from it. And the popups are annoying enough.

Keep on coastering!

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ULTIMATECOASTER.com - In Search of the "Ultimate"
http://www.ultimatecoaster.com/
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Friday, July 13, 2001 9:32 AM
Jeff, I appreciate what it costs to run a server, bandwidth, not to mention your own personal time. It's a lot of work!! We only hope that great sites on the net continue on, at least in part by other forms of compensation. That's good that your PopForums can try to foot the bill.

Is your T1 a partial or full?

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ULTIMATECOASTER.com - In Search of the "Ultimate"
http://www.ultimatecoaster.com/
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Friday, July 13, 2001 10:24 AM
of i run a site what would you guys want to see in a roller coaster site. something that is new. you guys want something new what do you guys want and i will try and produce it on my site. i kinda want my site to be similar to coasterbuzz like run by you but not as advanced. ill use the ideas that people have or want and try to make them a reality in my site.

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Webmaster - G-Screams
http://gscreams.cjb.net *** This post was edited by beastnum1 on 7/13/2001. ***
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Friday, July 13, 2001 10:28 AM
Jeff, does the $800 include GuideToThePoint or is it Coasterbuzz alone? You really show your hobby! I feel guilty paying my $15 a month :(

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Rollercoasters are the secret of life!

http://www.woodencoaster.com
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Friday, July 13, 2001 11:59 AM
Like I said, I'm my current host's biggest customer. I'll probably do well over 100 GB this month in transfer.

My point about software was that it doesn't matter what you use, some people can design sites and others can't.

And you better believe that's a full 1.544 Mbit pipe. Just think of all the porn, er... I mean, educational video I can download! The thing about that is I'll be paying for the size of the pipe, not how much I push through it. That's where I'm getting killed right now.

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Jeff
Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
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Friday, July 13, 2001 2:14 PM
I can understand where some people may seem like they are copying other people's content. This info was even filtered to me personally at SFWoA on opening day regarding how my site copied another popular SFWoA site.

At times getting creative is not very easy. With my site (no plug here) I have tried to showcase SFWoA in a way that was lacking at other sites while getting some decent results.

BTW, Jeff, keep up the great job even if it's costing you plenty to keep it going.

X Factor

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SFWoA: An Unofficial Guide
http://sfohio.tripod.com *** This post was edited by X Factor on 7/13/2001. ***
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Friday, July 13, 2001 2:35 PM
800$ a month!? Wow. Thanks Jeff.

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http://expage.com/rollercoastersurvivor The ONLY website dedicated to Roller Coaster Survivor! Come play!
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Friday, July 13, 2001 2:38 PM
Well, I get thousands of visitors everyday and I dont pay anything! I think that is pretty cool!! Thats the big advantage of being an english site in the UK is that hosting is practically free. People seem to immediatly putdown the new coaster sites out there, but Ive never ever had anyone say bad things about my site. And one other thing, you are sick of all the content on coaster sites being the same - I bet you're sick of all those millions of pornographic sites which you visit having the same content as well! Of course I wouldnt know seeing as how I'm only 16!

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Webmaster - Coaster Force
http://www.coasterforce.com *** This post was edited by Iron Wolf on 7/13/2001. ***
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Friday, July 13, 2001 3:14 PM
Being unique is a big reason why I decided to put up my coaster site, even though I don't have 10% of the time that I wish I could spend on it adding features, updating, expanding, etc. I host it on a free server because I'm very careful with my design (yippee for Notepad, I don't use editors at all), and I don't like the different requirements for ads and such that other servers have. I always got sick of sites that are nothing but link lists or pictures (pictures can be a great PART of a site, but unless you touch them up or are making a point they don't necessarily make a great site all by themselves), so that's why I'm really big on meaningful content - not something you can just get off the official sites, either!

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Po!nt of View: A different look at Roller Coasters.
http://www.crosswinds.net/~justmayntz/thrills/index.html
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