Italy's Volcanoes: The Cradle of Volcanology

This web site needs sponsors!

During the past two years or so I have frequently reflected upon the delicate question whether it would be correct to place ads on these pages, in order to have the work put into its construction and growth compensated. Earlier this year I decided to place one ad on some of the pages of this site, and I tried to do this in as discrete a manner as possible. That ad is related to web statistics, and each visitor who clicks on the ad makes me earn 0.10 US$ at a time. The income thus far has been a mere trickle (about 50 US$ in about 6 months) and therefore it is far from sufficient to compensate the amount of time and effort spent to keep this site active.

To say it in a few words, "Italy's Volcanoes" needs some solid kind of funding (or sponsoring). I am presently finishing my PhD degree at the University of Catania, and after November 2000 I will no longer receive the grant supplied by the university for my doctoral research. It is likely that in the future I will get a contract with this university, but surely some time will elapse until this will provide a new, and sufficient, income for me and my wife Giada.

It is necessary to underline that this site is the product of many, many hours spent during my spare time (between work on my PhD and my private life) by one single person, which is myself. It is the result of enthusiasm and the will to share all the information that I have and obtain about these wonderful volcanic areas in this beautiful country. Being a scientific site, not a commercial one, "Italy's Volcanoes" has always been free and I think this shall always be so; yet it will be difficult to keep this site as alive as it has been during the first five years of its life without having this work compensated in some way.

It is foreseeable that during the next months my spare time - the time needed to work on this site - will be reduced to a minimum, the more so if I will have to look for a temporary job outside the university, and this will paralyze this site which I believe has been one of the most vigorously growing volcanology web sites of the world until now.

The internet now offers a wide range of possibilities to make money, both for web masters and for surfers. Some are rather obscure, some are nasty right away, but surely there are a few quite serious ways to launch a significant income to web site creators. The most common is placing ads in strategic places on web pages. Ads surely can have a seriously disturbing effect on visitors to those pages, especially if they consist of popup windows. Furthermore ads are common on commercial web sites but less so on scientific sites. Another way to provide income for web masters consists of institutional funding for the site. Individual or institutional donations are a possibility as well. Yet another one is bringing some kind of business to the web master, which is not directly related to the work on the web site.

I have tried this last possibility earlier by offering excursions to the Etna area. For clear reasons this offer concerned groups of excursionists, institutions or mass media (journalists) only, not individuals - yet most requests were made by individuals or very small groups of private persons. Unfortunately there have been very few large excursions so far and the income thus has remained fairly small.

The need for a solution is URGENT. It's up to you visitors of this site - I know you are now numbering in the thousands each single day (on 17 October, "Italy's Volcanoes" was visited for the first time by more than 4000 - four thousand - visitors on one day). Would you mind seeing more ads on this site, maybe on a separate page to give less hassles, do you know powerful sponsors who would like to have an ad on this site? Or are there institutions or companies willing to provide financial support to this site? Any idea will be welcome. Write your suggestions to [email protected] or [email protected]. Any help will be warmly appreciated and acknowledged on the "Thank you's" page once it works. If you like this site, please help keeping it alive.



Copyright © Boris Behncke, "Italy's Volcanoes: The Cradle of Volcanology"

Page set up on 18 October 2000
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