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October 21st, 2002

 

Take the pictures, not the bandwidth

The Skinny:
     Do not reference LoveHKFilm.com to populate your webpages or forum signatures with pictures! If you'd like, save the picture to your hard drive, upload it to your own designated webspace, and reference that picture instead. Do not use a www.lovehkfilm.com address to reference the pictures. If this keeps up, the pictures will be yanked off the site entirely.

Now, for the long version:
     There are some people out there who will undoubtedly be affected by the actions described in this column - and will have absolutely no clue as to why it's happening. Some people may even be angry at me for doing what I'm doing. If so, I apologize for the inconvenience.
     And, I stand by my opinions.
     LoveHKFilm.com has lots of pictures. Lots. We mean tons of jpgs, gifs and the like. They're all stored on folders on the web server with names like:

www.lovehkfilm.com/reviews/images/picture.jpg

     Whenever somebody looks at a page on the site, those pictures are called up and downloaded to the reader's computer. That's a file transfer. A single page could take like 30k of bandwidth. Some may even take over 100k. It all depends on the page being downloaded.
     This website has a bandwidth cap. What that means is: after a certain amount of transfer, I get charged money. The extra amount has been $10 to $12 in the past, and has only occurred in the past two months. The cap is actually very large, and should handle all the needs of the people who actually read this site.
     But, it won't handle the needs of people who don't.
     Here's the problem: many people out there populate their own personal web endeavors (personal pages, forum signatures, etc.) with pictures from other sites. Despite their actual webpage (the .htm file) being stored on ezboard or www.asianavenue.com, they tell those servers to go somewhere else whenever they wish for a picture (the .jpg or .gif file) to be displayed.
     This happens on LoveHKFilm.com a lot. Everytime a picture gets called up from this site to populate another person's page, my web host gets hit. And, that number multiplies for each and every person that visits that other person's page. There are some pictures on the site which are downloaded hundreds of times a day. Multiply that amount by the number of different pictures referenced and you're talking thousands and thousands of transfers between 4k and 40k daily. And, none of those hits ever actually visit a page on LoveHKFilm.com.
     "So what?" you might ask. "You get hits, don't you?"
     Well, yeah I do. However, hits mean nothing in today's Internet. It's not like I can use the amount of "hits" I get to sign lucrative advertisement contracts which help further the site. If I could then yeah, I wouldn't care if my pictures got taken.
     But, the Internet is not like that. I don't care how many hits I get. I only care when people who actually like Hong Kong Cinema look at the pages. This site was created for them, and not to create a library of images which people could use for themselves. And, please remember: LoveHKFilm.com is fan site which is run by fans for fans. It's not a commercial enterprise that makes money. In fact, it costs us money.
     Sure, we have a support link to www.aznfilms.com, but that's mainly for a few review discs a month. So far this month, this site has made $3.00 off the support link, which isn't even enough for a Frappucino at Starbucks™. The bandwidth charges are estimated in the $30-$40 range, and even more if traffic does not subside.
     And the Webmaster (that's me) IS POOR. I've been out of work since September 12th, 2001 (yes, that's the day after September 11th), when LaserLand Home Theater in San Jose axed me for "financial reasons." Since then, I've coasted off my savings, biding my time until I could find a job worth getting. And, come February, I'll actually be working fulltime once more.
     Now, I don't own most of the images that get posted on LoveHKFilm.com. In fact, I've taken many from other sites myself. But, I've downloaded those pictures to my hard drive and then uploaded them to my server. Nobody else pays a price for the pictures which get seen by LoveHKFilm.com's readers. However, if you reference this site to populate your own page, I will be shelling money out of my own pocket to accomplish that.
     And no offense, but I really don't want to do that.
     Let me make this clear: I don't care if this web site ever makes money. To be honest, I personally don't expect it to. And if it did, I would gladly roll all the profits right back into the site.
     But still, I don't want to pay to populate other peoples' sites. You are free to save pictures to your own hard drive via a "right click" and "save as". I more than welcome people taking pictures for their own usage. Heck, if you contact me I will be happy to e-mail you pictures. But, don't take my bandwidth - because that costs money. And, it represents a constant drain on LoveHKFilm.com's bandwidth limits.
     I like having pictures on the site; I feel it makes the site better. However, if this keeps up I'll simply have to make LoveHKFilm.com a text site only. All the pictures will be yanked and no new ones will be posted.
     There are some exceptions. Some people are free to reference my images because they actually take the time to say that they like the site. I've seen a few pages (at AsianAvenue.com) that list LoveHKFilm.com as one of their favorite sites. And, if you're one of those sites, then you're free to reference that image from My Sassy Girl.
      However, if you're not, then I respectfully request that you stop referencing my webspace to populate yours. If you appreciate this site, then please respect the effort and money that goes into maintaining it. - Kozo 10/21/2002

 
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  Disclaimer*
The opinions expressed within are merely the musings of the Webmaster, and as such should be taken with the requisite grain of salt. If you disagree with an expressed opinion please feel free to contact him here. If you feel he has insulted your favorite popstar, you can still contact him. However, your chances of receiving a reply will be reduced by half.
 
 
 
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