HobbySpace Odyssey Continues
In the coming year, HobbySpace
will continue its efforts to raise awareness of the many ways
that the general public can participate in humanity's great
During 2001 virtually all the sections expanded
with more links and new sub-sections. The total number of
external links now surpasses 13,000. Several major new features
were added that include:
viewers - framed pages with menus of various
real or near real time images and data from space.
- Created this section to highlight items available from
the affiliate advertisers.
Satellite Ground Station - an extensive section
describing how to build a PC based ground station to receive
weather satellite images.
- Space Gazette
- the HobbySpace news section took on a better organised,
magazine page format and appears bi-weekly.
Traffic currently averages over 1500 pageviews
per day, an increase of more than 80% from a year ago, This
traffic level has allowed the site to attract paid advertisers,
albeit at very modest ad rates, in addition to the affiliate
programs in which a small commission is earned on any purchases
made immediately after a clickthrough on a banner.
While the money is nice, the ads are
also crucual to showing that there really are vendors in these
space hobbies. (Only space related ads are allowed.) No hobby
can be vibrant and growing without a healthy group of vendors
to supply it.
These fixed rate banner ads provide a small
but steady income for the site. The hope for 2002 is that
the traffic will continue to grow and attract more advertisers
and higher ad rates and let HobbySpace
cross the threshold from a hobby to a real business.
The goal is not to make a living from the
site but to obtain income to put back into the cause.
For example, HobbySpace
could sponsor yearly prizes in space art, music and solar
sci-fi. It would also be great to see the HobbySpace
logo on the side of a student satellite or a high altitude
In 2002 more new features will appear and,
of course, a continual supply of new links and topics.
- Clark S. Lindsey
P.S. In hopes of further publicizing
the great scope of space amateur developments, I've begun
submitting articles to various publications.
My article Space
for Amateurs: The role of enthusiasts in space exploration
was published in the BIS
Spaceflight Magazine in the January 2002 issue. It discusses
some of the more advanced space accomplishments by amateurs.
Another article that gives a
more general survey of space hobbies and activities for the
public was accepted by the National
Space Society's Ad Astra magazine but publication has
been delayed several times. A second article about reusable
sub-orbital rocket vehicles was accepted and will also appear
eventually, I hope...