Mac Musings

Change at Low End Mac

Daniel Knight - 2001.01.29 -

One of the more helpful pieces of advice I've received as a webmaster is, "Never put 'under construction' on your site. The Web is always under construction."

The Web and Low End Mac evolve and change. Sometimes a page's content is updated. Sometimes a site is redesigned. Sometimes a site moves to a new URL. Sometimes a site's navigation structure is changed.

The nature of the Web is unlike that of most media: content isn't immortalized on paper or recorded to tape; it's fluid. This means it's easy to fix a typo or rewrite a sentence that doesn't say quite what you thought it did.

Site Changes

Low End Mac has had its share of changes. We began in April 1997 as a handful of pages on my personal site called The New Low End Mac User. We grew from covering a few Macs (Mac Plus through Mac II series) to covering the whole Macintosh line (plus Lisa and NeXT), added editorial content, created mailing lists, and updated the design several times over the years.

In November 1997 the site moved to the now-defunct MacTimes Network, where we had space to grow and saw our first ad income. We grew from 25,000 pages per month to nearly 400,000 before moving to our own domain,, in February 1999.

We severed our relationship with MacTimes at the end of March 1999 and survived as a solo site without ad income until September 1999, when Brian Breslin of the infiniMedia Network began handling ads for the site. Traffic began to pick up from a low of under 250,000 in June 1999, running well past the 450,000 page per month mark in January 2000.

Last June we moved from infiniMedia to BackBeat Media, a very professional group that handles ads for several technology sites, including some of the best Mac sites on the Web. Since then site traffic has zoomed past 500,000 pages per month and site income has nearly tripled. (Site income is a mix of ads handled by BackBeat, affiliate fees, and sponsorship of our email lists - the great majority of that is from ads.)

Another Change

Today marks another significant change for Low End Mac: I've resigned my day job as a Macintosh information systems manager to dedicate my efforts to Cobweb Publishing, Inc., my newly incorporated business that publishes LEM and some other sites I've been hoping to find the time to really put some effort into. Two of those projects are designed and just waiting for content: Digigraphica, which I hope to make the Low End Mac of consumer digicam sites, and Digital-Views, a home for reviews of DVDs and the occasional Video CD.*

The bulk of my efforts will continue to be with Low End Mac. The most immediate change will be more frequent site updates. My current goal is one update at about 08.00 a.m. Eastern Time, another around noon, and a third at about 04.00 p.m. That schedule may need some adjusting, but it's a starting point to providing more current news links on our home page.

I'm absolutely indebted to the guys at BackBeat Media; without them Low End Mac would not have grown from a hobby site into a real business. Instead, it would have remained a profitable part-time hobby - which was more than I ever anticipated when I put those first pages up nearly four years ago.

As always, the mission of Low End Mac is helping users get the most value from their Macs and Maclones. I'll just have more time to dedicate to that now.

Dan Knight, publisher, Low End Mac

* Update: Digital-Views never took off and disappeared a long time ago. Content from Digigraphica has been rolled into Low End Mac.

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Dan Knight has been using Macs since 1986, sold Macs for several years, supported them for many more years, and has been publishing Low End Mac since April 1997. If you find Dan's articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

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