This may seem like a foolish thing, but actually it is of extreme importance. In case you didn’t know, everything made by tny. internet media operates at basically no cost to us. We use free PaaS services and our servers are sponsored. We try to find sponsors for our domain names. And we work for free, because we really like what we do. But it isn’t healthy for any organization to rely on nothing but third parties and volunteer work. The profit we make from displaying ads on our websites – as much as we hate doing it – is what has been funding us, even if at a micro scale. These little profits are an important step towards the independence of our group and our work.
We want our projects to be successful; the integrity of the brand we created to join these projects together is a fundamental part to their success and to the success of this more ambitious project that is keeping the tny. internet media group running. Another thing that’s necessary to the success is the reliability of our services. Reliability is very hard to achieve when the thing in question is dependent on dozens of factors that are beyond our control. If our servers go down, for example, we can’t blame anyone too much: in the end, they were sponsored – still, it would have a huge impact on reliability and consequently on credibility of this brand. Getting more independence from sponsors, from free services, from the occasional donation is therefore of extreme importance.
Right now the only notable project under the tny. internet media brand is the tny.im URL-and-whatever shortener. It may seem like it’s a lot of worry for something so simple and so common, to have the best reliability and to try to achieve the highest credibility possible. But the thing here is, one has got to start somewhere with something, and we just can’t start destroying the brand we just created by providing a low quality URL shortening service.
Today it’s about short URLs, tomorrow it may be the genius idea that changes the world. But even if that genius moment never comes, and this never goes beyond an amateurish ambitious project, we want to look back and know we made the best job we could with this tiny project. You just don’t have a eureka moment and *magic*, there’s your shiny and profitable project that’s going to pay your lunch for the rest of your life. No. We want to start small, doing things for fun. As we play this game, things happen… or not… and right now, there are already over ten people that would get seriously upset if their tny.im short links stopped working. These ten people, probably many more, are enough motivation to keep tny.im alive and to try to improve the service both at the functionality and reliability levels.
The seriousness with which we are taking this thing forward may seem strange. In fact, and at least for me, this all started as a fun experiment to see how far one could go on with a web service, without investing real money and yet maintaining an acceptable uptime and providing useful functionality. Believe it or not, it’s been almost one year of tny. internet media, and the oldest link in tny.im’s database is close to three years old (remember that tny.im operated under different subdomains until we finally got a sponsor for a real TLD). And since we introduced ads, we made enough money to pay for the domain. Personally I’m yet to invest a single cent into tny. internet media, and still, we could renew the domain for another year with the profits from the last two years. The only reason why we don’t pull the plug on the sponsored servers, so we could become even more independent (and reliable, and trustworthy), is that the income from our projects is far from stable. But we aren’t looking for investors either, and we don’t plan on increasing the amount of ads too soon. It works, so why bother fixing?
I believe that if we didn’t take this forward with such seriousness, pretending to be like a important company, we wouldn’t have gone so far. Any money one would invest into tny. internet media now would have a negative return. At least one thing is now more or less assured: that tny. internet media will be around for yet another year. A domain name renewal can have so much of a meaning…
Thanks for all your support, and a special thank you to Joseph Paz who, a year ago, paid the giant amount necessary to register the tny.im domain.
gbl08ma (hopefully expressing the feelings of all the people who make the tny. internet media group)