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THOUGHTS AT THREE A.M.
by editor I forgot my name

Where were we last month?

Sorry about disappearing on you! In late September, I purchased a new computer from Computer City during their going out of business sale. This new system gave me so many random freezes that I could barely get the last issue out to the Web. Since I couldn't return it, it had to be repaired by CompUSA (motto: If Dairy Queen turned you down, come work in our tech department). For six weeks they had it, and it was a comedy of errors that I will not go into. However, after a month and a half of service (during which I didn't have any time to put out a November issue), I've gotten it back. The random freezes are still there, but now the sound card doesn't work and the rubber feet are gone and they left a needle-nose pliers inside the case, so at least I have proof they were doing something on it.

Once I had it back and about two weeks to put out the next issue, I began working on it full speed. However, I committed myself to doing this monstrous epic "Air Force Two" and publishing it while the political situation was still relevant. Plus two other columns. Plus a total site re-design due to the move to the new domain.

All I can say is, "Oy!" I'll be taking it easy next month, allowing the contributors to do more of the work.

So, new domain, eh?

Yep!

Easyspace had such a good deal that I couldn't turn it down. It's still somewhat pricey, but the 100 megs of server space allow us plenty of room for expanding the archives and including artwork. Most importantly, www.fanzing.com is easier to hand out than http://www.thehutch.com/rabhutch/fanzing, right? We're hoping that this move will make it easier for you to tell your friends about Fanzing and increase our readership.

How is Fanzing paying for the site?

The answer to that would be "barely"! :-)

Basically, it's coming out of my pocket. This is really a rotten time to be doing it, though. Christmas shopping and a host of bills converging at this one time makes it kind of lean. Add to that the fact that I just got engaged (THAT doesn't cost money!) and I'm gonna be scraping by for a while.

Several fans and contributors have asked if Fanzing can do things to raise money. Well, not really. We can't be for-profit; it's the #1 reason to shut down a fan-run web site! I will be looking for more paid-link banners for the future, but that won't be happening right away.

The funny thing is that the domain registration and the hosting fees only add up to $170. If I charged you all a one-time visiting charge of fifty cents we'd have the entire year paid for (That counter on the cover page is just for this month!). Considering all the entertainment we dish out for free month-to-month, and how much it costs just to purchase the latest mediocre issue of a R.M. comic book, that would still be an incredible bargain!

So, if you want to help, there's two things you can do:
1)   Buy some comics from my Comic Relief site.
2)   Fanzing is non-profit, but we will accept Christmas/Hanukkah gifts! Large or small, we'll acknowledge all donations privately (no guilt foisted on those who don't contribute). If the bill is actually met, I'll be sure to remove this plea from the page ASAP. Should we still get any money over the maximum needed, I will donate it to charity to make sure we don't profit from the site.

Send check/money order to:

Michael Hutchison

Cheap-Ass Fanzing Editor

1231 Rose Vista Ct, #7

Roseville, MN 55113

And we thank you for your support. (I sound like PBS!)

What's new?

You've undoubtedly noticed the new front page and the new navigation icons (we're still working on a couple). We've moved a lot of the "Stuff" from the back of the magazine and put it on the front page, making it more accesssible. The new front page loads a lot faster and should fit on an 800x600 screen without needing to scroll up and down. Plus, the Archives and Message Board are much more accessible; once you've finished with the current issue, you'll still have a reason to stop on back!

As I write this, I still have several of the "Front" pages (staff, who we are) to work on. Once the Staff page is done, it will have a full organization of the current staff and contributors.

Biggest NEW thing is the Writing Challenge. We've never had a writing challenge before, and this one is a lu-lu! "alt.showcase.94" is going to be a big part of Fanzing in 1999! If you're at all intersted in doing fan fiction, be sure to check it out.

What's coming up?

For me, a lot of sleep and a lot of wedding plans. Probably nothing big from Michael Hutchison for another two months, although next issue is our Crisis issue and a lot of the Contributors are busting with ideas, so don't think next issue will pale by comparison! I'm not the only one working here. :-)

But we have ideas for growth. Several of us are making plans for a Fanzing Desktop Theme which you could download from here. It would include icons and wallpapers and the like, all done using art from past issues of Fanzing. I've never done a Theme before (hence the hesitancy about promising anything anytime soon), but once I get the hang of it we may do several.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!

This column is © 1998 Michael Hutchison.

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