Thursday, April 14, 2005

Silver Manufacturer pages - major change in access

Some of you may be wondering why a *password* is now required to access the Silver Manufacturers pages.

We noticed a sharp increase in our bandwith usage - all attributed to those pages. A bit of detective work indicated that people were using that information to attempt to sell items at other venues. Not that it is, in and of itself, a big deal, (knowledge IS important), but these people were telling many others to glean information from the site to use, too. Again, not a big deal - until we had a look at our bandwidth logs!

Holy cow! Something had to be done, and done immediately. Options were tossed out, discussed at length, and we finally found a solution we were relatively comfortable with. Removing the pages altogether was not what we wanted to do. Charging for those pages was NEVER in our business plan, and NOT something we'd ever consider doing for profit. But SOMEONE was going to have to pay the additional charges for usage - and there wasn't a long line of volunteers. In fact, no one was in line. None of these "visitors" had any intention of ever becoming customers. Further, we do not accept paid advertising at our site - because that isn't our purpose.

Our purpose is to sell and to educate buyers, not be a 'classified advertisement' for spammers, gamers and the like.So, in a nutshell, we've been forced to compromise between leaving the reference pages up and running, removing the pages altogether, to finally charging a small fee to access these pages to help to defray the additional needs placed upon our site.

Although we are loathe to charge for access, abuses by others necessitated action. Customers, of course, will receive the password to access these pages free of charge until the 'quarter' ends. (January - March, April - June, July - September and October - December.) Quarterly access, and password changes at the end of each quarter, eliminates the probability of hemorrhaging bandwidth again in the future as the password makes the rounds - of which we're certain some will do.

Thank you.