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It has been said that any publicity, good or bad, is good either way. Well I experienced my first bit of ‘bad’ publicity today with Grabble and I’m still undecided if it’s good for Grabble or not. In a recent post by Uno De Waal about the Grabble search engine I got less than rave reviews and it seems as if the readers of Uno’s Blog were just as perplexed.
It would appear that my lack of revenue model on Grabble is coming up for some criticism and I must admit Uno is not the first to do so. While he may be the first person to publicly state this revenue model issue I have had a few people comment on this issue on a personal one-on-one level.
The truth is Grabble does cost me a hell of a lot of money to run and operate. I have two dedicated web servers using in excess of 50GB worth of bandwidth each month and the indexing on the servers amount to well over 70GB worth of disk space. These figures grow daily now that the website is live and building up a larger database and I am already setting up a third web server to help with the load.
Of course these figures are just going to continue growing and with that comes additional cost. How will the project fund itself is a key issue which does need addressing. As I commented on Uno’s blog the concept or idea is not to make money. That is not why I started Grabble and it will not be something that I will ever be interested in. As discussed in my Profile page I have tried to make money out of the Internet before and I made a mess of that so I do things now simply for the joy of watching it grow and develop with time.
I have said these exact words to the people that have questioned my ‘business-model’ and it does seem a little odd I have to admit. At the end of the day I do have a plan to help cover the costs of this project but this plan can only start to work once I have critical mass using the service and a product that works and functions in a way that I feel comfortable with.
My plan does not include paid-for advertising on the grabble website but rather looking at dealings with corporate companies in South Africa. I will never include paid-for advertising on Grabble as long as I am involved with it.
I can almost hear you thinking that Google made a promise very similar to this but the short answer to this is that I am not Google and don’t have any investors to account to and show a ROI. I do this for me - very selfishly I might add - and I just love doing it.
Uno also brought up an issue about Google. Now there is already a misconception about Grabble in that I am not trying to be Google but rather the best local alternative to major SA search engines. I really got so frustrated with the junk that got spat out at me in search results locally that it just became easier to use Google. I would like to change that perception and make Grabble the first point of contact when looking for something local, if this is at all humanly possible.
There is so much more still to come with Grabble and I’m hopeful to have some key stuff launched by end of January. I am so excited about this project and the changes that will take place that I just can’t wait to see how it will be received.