So! I was reading the recent-ish thread about web hosting for serials and I've been kicking around an idea for a proper site for hosting serials for a while.
I'm thinking of starting a hub site for hosting serials. I'd write the CMS myself, in Django and I'd provide two types of services: hosting and editorial. And a community, hopefully.
- a site (duh)
- 2 GB disk space (for now --- if we get bigger and have enough funds, I'll up that)
- comments on the site, moderated or unmoderated. Your choice.
- a [hubname].com/[yourserial] url, if you don't want to or can't provide your own domain name
- site maintenance
- web design, tailored toward the needs of a serial. Navigation! Proper archives and tables of content! Cast pages! And so on.
- there will be a vetting process and I will require regular (or at least consistent) updates. Quality of the serial will also be taken into account.
- proofreading and basic line edits
- copyediting? Continuity? Developmental editing? Maybe. Maybe I'll have to charge/charge more for these. Just putting these out there as suggestions.
- a central hub, with forums for in-depth discussion (for people who prefer forums to comment threads on chapters).
- author blogs on the central hub, if desired.
- a review section
- a Keenspace-like adbox on every site, advertising other serials that are part of the hub.
Honestly, I really like the idea of offering people banner art, illustrated ads and logos. But those might end up being a bit of a luxury. We'll see.
I have no idea how we'd advertise the hub as a whole, but I'm bouncing some ideas off the proverbial wall. Maybe advertise to webcomic readers? We shall see.
I'm not sure if I want to charge a monthly fee to cover server costs or ask for a pay-what-you-can voluntary contribution, but regardless, I would not charge more than USD 10 a month for the basic service. The aim of this is to be a cheap (if not free) alternative to a cludged-together solutions like WordPress's free hosting.
Maybe we can cover hosting costs with donation drives? I do not want to rely on advertising, however and I want to provide hosting to people who are doing serials as a hobby, as well as to people who are making a living off it. So really, I think this might end up free with a polite request to help with server costs every year or so. And maybe some discreet, non-annoying ads.
I mean, remember Keenspace? In some ways, it was a fucking disaster, but I want this site to become a hub like that.
So! Any comments? Feature requests? Any ideas on how to shoulder server costs? Any ... interest in this? 8D
EDIT: Oh and potentially, if the project proves successful, we could expand to an Android and iOS app for serials.