Replying all in one.. forgivie me.
What you offer is good. The only other free wiki
hosting I know of with
substantial resources is ibiblio. However, folks love their images... Keep
in mind that if the wiki is successful as Wikipedia is that it will use
substantial bandwidth and storage space and rapidly outgrow even the largest
I might consider allowing uploads, ssh access, and a pop mail account
for people willing to spend $60/year for the hosting. Is that
unreasonable? Otherwise they could have a wiki with no uploads or ssh
access and only an email forwarding account for free. Those limitations
would help keep the free accounts from using up all the resources. Also
I'd probably put some kind of soft bandwidth and server resource limit
that if exceeded I'd have to ask the users to pay for their usage. I
can't see the majority of wikis surpassing those limits though. I mainly
want to keep people from serving warez or other questionable resource
hogging activities off my servers.
Free hosting would definitely help a lot of people I
small online communities...and having no ads and so on would make it
golden :) - it's likely that you would be overwhelmed with the number
of users who sign up. And I think images are kind of important too ...
can't ask people to remote link all the time.
I also think I'd put some kind of limit on the number of users allowed
per each of my servers. Each machine has a limit of 500GB of bandwidth
per month so if the wiki users started to exceed about half of that then
I'd have to stop allowing new users or migrate some users to different
servers. Also any users that asked for a site and then didn't use it I'd
probably remove the site.
I think that's a fantastic offer and extremely
cool of you.
I think, yes, there will likely be some demand -- as regards myself I
don't know yet though, because I'm still kinda hoping I'll eventually
figure out MediaWiki customization and get to install it on my
Obviously if someone wanted their own domain, which I'd encourage,
they'd either have to buy it and point it at the right server themselves
or pay me enough to cover the cost of doing so for them. I would allow a
customized wiki if you wanted to pay $5/month for ssh access and you'd
handle the installation yourself.
If I were you however, I'd be careful about
overpromising -- I prolly
wouldn't say: "Guys, I offer free wiki hosting till kingdom come." but
rather: "I am currently in a position to offer free wiki hosting and
you're very welcome to join, however pls be aware that there are no
guarantees as regards the future." That's because you never know how
things will develop. And if you promise an "always free" service and
subsequently have to retract that, people will accuse you of baiting
and switching -- the same thing that happened to Apple with their
Definately. All deals are on the whim of the hosting provider, me, and
could be canceled if I felt it was being abused or got hit by a bus or
just whatever. The "what's in it for me" angle to giving away free
hosting is that I'd hope that some of those using the service or the
wikis using the service would buy server space from me for any
commercial projects they might have. In other words I'm willing to chip
in free hosting as long as I stay in business but if I go broke I won't
be able to pay for my nice servers and then there'll be no where for the
free sites to be hosted. Luckily it doesn't cost very much for each of
my dedicated servers so it'd not take much return business to cover my
costs. As long as my costs were getting covered I could keep adding new
servers as needed to keep offering hosting space.
It would also be interesting to know if what you have
to offer could
help/be offered to Wikimedia projects. Forgive me my Wikimed-snobbery
but I actually kinda think it would do much more good to support
Wikimedia project x than hosting Joe, Jane and Ed's vanity wikis.
I'm not sure if I'd want to be involved with large projects as there
might be more red tape involved. I don't want anyone second guessing my
decisions on my own servers because of project politics. I've offered to
sponsor Wikipedia before and the response I got back indicated that they
weren't very interested in money or server space unless they completely
got their way in everything. Sort of soured me to trying to reach any
kind of an agreement with them despite my great appreciation for the
As such I might consider asking anyone with a free wiki account to put a
link somewhere on their site back to me. No ad banner or anything - just
a small text link like 'Sponsored by..'. I'd consider making it optional
but I'd be doubtful about how much the service was appreciated if that
was asking to much in return.
So, with that out of the way, anyone that is interested feel free to
email me and ask for an account. I'll see about setting up a website
advertising this free service and I'd be glad to provide links to
anybodies wiki even if it isn't hosted on my servers. Just put 'wiki' in
the subject so it won't get sorted as junk.