Date: Fri May 01 1998 - 10:54:10 PDT

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Date: 01 May 98 10:54:10 -0700
Subject: Re: COTW
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You have 4 boards valued at (I'm guessing) $4000 plus a couple of thousand
sails, masts and booms but $25 is too much to pay to help support 16 local
sight wind meters and an automated way to deliver the information to as many
people as want to view it? It's your money but sounds like a wierd
strategy to me.
Call of the Wind supplies proprietary information generated through its own
equipment. It is not just relaying free or government sponsored information
(lame hour old bouy reports and the like which used to be the norm). COTW
needs to fund itself in some way. I don't think anyone is getting rich off
the service.
If $25 might get a sailor one more good day then he should go ahead and
Jeff Milum


attached mail follows:

Date: 01 May 98 10:35:30
From:Kirk Lindstrom <>
To:Multiple recipients of list <>
Subject:Re: COTW 
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I think you need patience to make money on the net. MANY are doing it
at a loss or for general interest or whatever. I might pay the $25 to
support, but I don't find the pager valuable enough to bother and have
solved the "not quite enough wind" problem by having 4 boards so I can
sail 12 to 50 knots.

I've been doing a site for over a year to teach others how to invest and
I have no motive other than it helps me to invest better myself. See my
site , or (If it is up and not
crashing!) I think you just have to keep plugging away or consider it
public service and personal education as Ken does with Windtalk and I do
with my stuff.

"The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men,
but that men will begin to think like computers." - Sidney J. Harris

Kirk out

ASD epoxy: 8'8" & 9' RKT & 9'6" no-nose CS, F2 Xantos285
Wt 230#, Ht. 6'0", Usually sail on SF Bay, Cailf.

David St. John wrote:
> Hi Francois,
> >Too bad we can not get more frequent informations, otherwise we
> >could have the same as cotw for free.
> The problem is that good wind information is NOT free. It takes a lot of
> work. You must know this from the outstanding job you've done with your
> own website. Ken Poulton's report is another example of great work. But
> don't forget that a lot of Ken's data comes from Jim Martin
> (Call of the Wind's president and only full-time employee) has spent 5
> years building a system of wind sensors while living in a garage -
> When I proposed putting his data on the web three years ago, I told him I'd
> only do it if we kept the site free. He was worried that giving it away
> would eat into his pager business. At the time, when not many people were
> on the web, I argued successfully with him that it was one thing to get
> wind reports on your desk, and quite another to get them in you pocket. So
> the pager had value over and above the website. I still believe that. But
> now, as more and more people have fast access to the web from home and
> work, I think he might be right. Why buy a pager when you can get the
> information for free on the web?
> I had hoped that as the web matured we'd eventually render that point moot,
> and be able to support the site and the business with advertising revenue
> alone. Following that hope, I've built and maintained the website at an
> average of 10 hours a week, for two and a half years, virtually for no
> monetary compensation (okay, Jim gives me free pager service), while I
> worked more than full-time at a regular job. I'm not complaining, I love
> it! I've pulled many an all-nighter writing and programming for
> And I've pounded the pavement trying to drum up sponsorship for the site,
> with very marginal success. It's becoming clear that a TV-like, pure
> advertising model does not work for most websites (unless you're Yahoo!),
> and many are going to a more magazine-like/cable-TV model: charge a little
> for subscriptions. That's the route we're taking as well.
> Your BWR website has some great information and great graphics! More power
> to you if you can provide it for free.
> >Do you now how delayed they plan to be ?
> The free reports will probably be delayed 3 hours, although we're still
> discussing that.
> We are truly trying to make the real-time wind reports as accessible as
> possible and have tried to set the rates as reasonably as we can. We're
> charging $9 a month, or $49 for six months (about the length of the Bay
> Area season). $79 for the whole year. As Nick Rayner pointed out, the $25
> for he rest of this year is a "charter member", "never-to-be-repeated"
> deal. We don't expect to get rich this way - just provide a service and be
> reasonably compensated for that service. If I could have food in my
> fridge, my bills paid, and my kids sent to college, I'd run the site for
> nothing in a heartbeat!
> Whew, that was a lot of words. There are more, actually, in the form of an
> open letter from Jim Martin and myself to users, at
> (if anyone else has
> some thoughts on this stuff, you can add them to that page)
> Regards,
> David
> v /| --- David St. John
> v / | --- Call of the Wind
> /o_/ ---
> ^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~ _/_X_ ^~^~^~^~^

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