A few of you may have seen BuyMyStats before its sudden shutdown. It was an experimental business model in which I paid literally $10 a year for the domain name registration and literally nothing for domain hosting from when I launched it April 1, 2012 to its tentative end March 26, 2014. Succesful? Yes — in its infancy.
I literally made a forty-fold return in my first year and did a twenty-fold profit in my second year –although neither was through the web-to-lead form but through word-of-mouth on the now-defunct LinkedIn Answers Q&A forums. I still have copies of correspondence detailing how I made inroads to assist some graduate students with the statistical analysis and summary portions of their doctoral thesis submissions.
But thereafter, word-of-mouth dried up because there are only so many doctoral candidates and undergraduates who trust a total stranger to work on their most critical homework assignments for several hundred dollars a pop. The site never saw any serious inquiries.
The bottom line is that I opportunistically made my money early in a very small niche market, refused to waste money trying to “expand” or market to those who lack trust, and ultimately earned almost a four-figure income among 2012 and 2013 combined revenue. A few marketers tried to persuade me otherwise, but I know my business better than they do!
So why did my domain host discontinue BuyMyStats? I won’t name my web host because I don’t want people targeting it because, “We can disrupt Joe Ohler’s operations if we spam that website every day! HAW HAW HAW!”
In fact, “excessive mail” was indeed the reason the domain host considered BuyMyStats to have violated their terms of service. To quote retired Colonel Ollie North, “Mistakes were made” — but they were less on my end, having done due diligence to design denial of repeated form submissions, more on the guilty keyboards of the adequately large number of unique visitors who submitted data within a concentrated time frame to trigger a service violation.
The American hacking group-who-shall-not-be-named-for-SEO-purposes CESLUL (name backwards) is not to blame; they would have left their signature imagery instead of merely taking the site down. Rather, I blame Chinese nationalists.
Besides having the technology infrastructure to indiscriminately target American websites with denial-of-service attacks, Mainland China has deployed Sinobots to track down Big Data-related websites by keyword and cause data buffer overflows through excessive concurrent transactions and consequential throughput (some IT jargon beloved by tech heads).
The layman’s explanation is that Red China used its computing resources to activate BuyMyStats’ automated email generator way too many times for the domain host servers to handle, and my domain host took BuyMyStats offline indefinitely. I refused to “upgrade” because I’m certain that problem would recur, irrespective of domain host.
Although not worthless at the level of “nothing of value was lost,” BuyMyStats was more of a showpiece than a serious business contender. It was one of my ways of “playing big, bad corporate business man” without actually owning substantial assets or investing anything other than my spare time.
Anyone can act like they’re part of the “Good Old Boy Oppressive Power Broker Club” — but such as by nominal business ownership — but wielding full membership powers of actual “social arbiter” and “decider of others’ destinies” is a different matter entirely.
Because I have all my files on both my hard drive and thumb drives, nothing was truly destroyed except the public’s ability to access the site. I’m happy to have sharpened my coding skills constructing the pages, scripts, and stylesheets that tied everything together. It will always be an accomplishment for which I have ample documentation, so it served its purpose.
I could re-launch the website — but won’t bother because it’s not worth the money to even renew the domain name; my income tax filings with the Internal Revenue Service and the Wisconsin Department of Revenue confirm this.
If you want to express condolences for a meaningless death of an inconsequential website that may as well never existed, then donate via the PayPal button at the top or bottom of this page. What else are you going to do with the money?
Pay your money-grubbing landlord instead of finding a cheaper place; pay down your mortgage early only to eat early termination fees; save up for a college education that won’t help your kids a damned bit?
You may as well donate to me and have the satisfaction of an immediately knowable positive outcome. Click the tombstone below to enter the curated gallery of screen captures of BuyMyStats in its final days.