Down the Tubes (British comics news site) closes

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Lew Stringer
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Down the Tubes (British comics news site) closes

Post by Lew Stringer »

This is disappointing news. John Freeman's Down the Tubes website, which was a great source for UK comics news, has closed. Rising costs due to people hotlinking his images is partly to blame.

A lesson to be learned for all those who think hotlinking is harmless. (And I know for a fact some here do it, as some hotlinked images from my blog in the past.) Well done. With DTT down you've lost the best UK comics news site on the net. :(

http://downthetubescomics.blogspot.co.u ... cs+News%29

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Digifiend
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Re: Down the Tubes (British comics news site) closes

Post by Digifiend »

:shock: £50 a month? The hotlinking was more than doubling his costs, no wonder he gave up!

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stevezodiac
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Re: Down the Tubes (British comics news site) closes

Post by stevezodiac »

Excuse me but what is hotlinking?

Reminds me of a recent work e-mail which was in management speak and i replied to my boss that i didn't understand it. Only recently found out what networking is. I also pulled up another manager who started her e-mail "Morning". Morning is a verbal shortening of good morning and not to be used in the written form. Peeve over. Sorry, Lew.

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TwoHeadedBoy
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Re: Down the Tubes (British comics news site) closes

Post by TwoHeadedBoy »

I'm confused too - how can it cost £500 a year to run? From the address it's a Blogger site. Mine doesn't cost me anything but time, and at no point have Google asked me for card details or whatever.

Not being rude here, just genuinely curious/puzzled as to how it can cost so much?
http://twoheadedthingies.blogspot.co.uk/ - My comics blog, mostly lesser-known UK stuff from the 1980s and 1990s

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starscape
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Re: Down the Tubes (British comics news site) closes

Post by starscape »

The blogspot is the alternative site, not the main site. Actually, I think DTT might work at least as well, probably even better, with blogspot.

AndyB
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Re: Down the Tubes (British comics news site) closes

Post by AndyB »

stevezodiac wrote:Excuse me but what is hotlinking?
It's where you include a link to a picture on another site which is not your own. It's not so much the fact that you're using the pic, it's the fact that anyone viewing your post uses up bandwidth on the original site, unknown to the person viewing it.

davidandrewsimpson
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Re: Down the Tubes (British comics news site) closes

Post by davidandrewsimpson »

Please note that Down The Tubes' blog is still running, as is its forum.

felneymike
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Re: Down the Tubes (British comics news site) closes

Post by felneymike »

I always found it a bit of a mess, to be honest. It ought to work better as a blog, and as blogger is "free", let them handle the hotlinking!
(which they can do with simple, widely-available scripts to prevent it)

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Digifiend
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Re: Down the Tubes (British comics news site) closes

Post by Digifiend »

To be fair, you're right, they can still do their news reporting via the blog. Wasn't that the main purpose of the site?

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klakadak-ploobadoof
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Re: Down the Tubes (British comics news site) closes

Post by klakadak-ploobadoof »

A couple of months ago I submitted the form to join their blog. Three or four weeks down the line it was still not approved (not reviewed??) so I cancelled my application. They must be very busy there.
Check out my blog about comics from other peoples' childhood: http://kazoop.blogspot.com

dreamticket
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Re: Down the Tubes (British comics news site) closes

Post by dreamticket »

klakadak-ploobadoof wrote:A couple of months ago I submitted the form to join their blog. Three or four weeks down the line it was still not approved (not reviewed??) so I cancelled my application. They must be very busy there.
I joined about the same time and was approved almost immdeiately. You've probably missed the approval e-mail in your junk folder.

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-MikeD-
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Re: Down the Tubes (British comics news site) closes

Post by -MikeD- »

I guess they know you can use .htaccess to limit or block hotlinking of images.

Sorry to see the main site go, and I never realised the bandwidth charges were so punitive.
My new art blog...beta version... http://mikedcuk.blogspot.co.uk

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klakadak-ploobadoof
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Re: Down the Tubes (British comics news site) closes

Post by klakadak-ploobadoof »

dreamticket wrote:I joined about the same time and was approved almost immdeiately. You've probably missed the approval e-mail in your junk folder.
Nope, there was nothing in my junk mail folder and my application showed as 'pending' or something like that for a few weeks, offering me an option to withdraw. I though it was very strange.
Check out my blog about comics from other peoples' childhood: http://kazoop.blogspot.com

davidandrewsimpson
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Re: Down the Tubes (British comics news site) closes

Post by davidandrewsimpson »

Some good news about Down The Tubes at their blog: "...we've had a very kind offer from a UK publisher to host the site which will enable us to get back up and running at some point in the next couple of months..." For more info, see http://downthetubescomics.blogspot.co.u ... moved.html

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johnfreeman96
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Re: Down the Tubes (British comics news site) closes

Post by johnfreeman96 »

I've only just seen this thread about downthetubes. Thank you for your interest and comments.

I do find it a bit sad that some people appear to think that because they are viewing sites on the web for free they have the impression there is no cost involved. I can assure you that for the most part, this is not the case.

Just to explain: the main site is (or was) hosted as a straight HTML web site and that is where the bulk of the charges applied - domain names and hosting. It's quite a large site and the cost of hosting reflects the webspace required. I also pay monthly fees for the hosting of the Ning forum and other items to cross post articles etc to social media to raise the profile of the site.

Other minimal costs include posting out competition prizes etc when I do them, for example, and, some other costs relating to my work as a comics writer and editor that I use the downthetubes site to manage.

In addition to the server costs, which I was happy to cover, it would seem that some sites linked straight to images on the site. I had .htaccess bars on my image folder to try and prevent this but they were, perhaps, ineffective. I really don't think the site was getting the 100,000 plus users per month I was suddenly being charged for.

Yes, the blog is free, hosted on Blogger. But if you want to run a decent site on the Net and want to understand your users, get user data, hit rates etc, then it is better not to rely totally on free services that would have their own ads, not ours. I decided a long time ago, for example, not to have a DTT facebook page, because Facebook control it and the data. They are only interested in traffic to their site, not mine. The Ning forum allows for better integration with a range of social media, not just FB, too.

Regarding applications to the DTT forum. These are moderated and applications accepted on the basis of information submitted. I'm not asking for detailed info - but as I'm sure Al, who runs this forum, will agree with, there has to be some way to try to block those people who apply to join just to spam the site. So the questions asked are those that I hope real British comic fans won't find intrusive.

I'm sorry if one of the commentators above did not get an immediate acceptance. I do downthetubes when I can in what spare time I have available and there hasn't been much of that in recent months.

And yes, the site is/was a bit chaotic -- but bear in mind I have been doing it since 1999 - things got added as I developed it so the structure was a bit skewed!
John Freeman
British Comics News Blog: http://www.downthetubes.net 

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