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Posted on Sep 3, 2004 in History News


Jim H. Moreno

Has anyone helped you to build


Absolutely. There are three other partners in—one for customer service/database, one for custom programming, and one for accounting. Our ISP gets paid to keep our server running, and we call in technical gurus from time to time.

But the biggest contributors are the publishers and members who create the content and support

The publishers stick their creative and financial necks out every time an issue comes out. Good or bad, they’re coming out with work on a regular basis and most of these publications are labors of love. Armchair General has 100,000+ circulation, but most of these publishers often have only a couple hundred. When Media Industry News reviewed (calling us a treasure trove of military history info), the reviewer called them "nano-niche publications." I think that’s a great descriptive term. And they deserve a heckuva lot of credit for continuing to publish their expertise.


Our members are often more than subscribers. Many of them contribute to our WarLore section with original articles and memoirs. Many of them contribute to the publications directly. Each has an expertise in a particular area, and you can see that come out. I meet a lot of them at trade shows and conventions, and I am constantly in awe of the variety of knowledge available. Some of them have gone on to start their own publications, and I’d like to flatter myself into believing that has helped them.

Members have also made suggestions that we have implemented. For example, the reverse chronological list of new postings. I initially figured folks would look outside at the "What’s New" section and see if there was a new publication, then enter the archive. Not exactly. Members wanted to enter the archive first and see what’s new, with the option of looking at "older" articles. So, we implemented the reverse chronological list.

Ditto with the Subject posting list. Initially, I thought they’d use the search engine. Instead folks wanted to see what was new in a given period. So, we instituted that in mid 1998 for about 15 or so topics, from ancients to modern.

Also, I figured folks would use the "Back" button or "Go" menu item of their browser more. Not exactly. So, at the end of every article are three links–back to the table of contents page, back to the list of issues page, and back to the main MagWeb Master Magazine List page.

Suggestions like these help make faster to use. And there are the people who take the time to look at and investigate what it offers. Google has no problem attracting attention. has a tougher road to travel. Every little bit helps. I’ve been on local cable shows in Chicago and NJ, and I’ve been on national shows on the History Channel (Modern Marvels). My local newspaper did a story on, as well as USA Today and NY Times. We’ve been written up by one-man websites as well as those for Entrepreneur and Fortune. I’ve been on talk radio shows coast to coast and spoken at local and national history conferences. Yes, it’s their job to put on interesting guests and expert information, and my job to sell, but somewhere, somebody could have picked any large company and instead chose tiny

In what ways does strive to help those interested in military history?


The computer and the web offer unprecedented access to information. The problem with the web is that it is all scattered about, and even Google admits only a small percentage of the billions of web pages are in their search engine. not only concentrates it in one spot, it also brings a greater degree of expertise together than any other military history site. No other site is as extensive or covers the vast array of military history and all its related topics, as

And you will be surprised at what you’ll find mentioned in, especially when it comes to various products. The "wargaming" part is more product-oriented than the history part. People buy lots of military history books, videos, wargames for the computer, and so on. Many of the smaller magazines are packed with incredible expertise on how to refight wars–on computer screen on the tabletop, or just as an academic exercise in your mind. West Point spends a considerable amount of time preparing its students with such wargaming. As you can imagine, "armchair generals" and historians do too using more commercial products. Orders of Battle, Maps, rules, and other nuts and bolts information will allow you to recreate battles in any era, and quite often specific battles. And because our magazines come from the US, UK, Canada, and Australia, you get a more international outlook on such products and procedures. You don’t have to spend time re-inventing the wargaming wheel–it’s all in

And there are *NO* adverts in the archive. No banner ads, text ads, skyscrapers, interstitial pop-ups, etc. members are paying to avoid commercials. Remember, think of like HBO–premium channel you pay for, but no commercials in the movies. We have absolutely no plans to insert adverts in any article, map, or index.

What are some stats about


We’re approaching 50,000 articles in the archive. We post 25+ new issues per month, plus bonus articles like reviews, travelogues, memoirs, and such that are not contained in magazines. That’s about something every day, although we stick to a schedule of uploads about 2-3 times a week, which is how often the majority of members access

We had just over 500,000 "hits" (articles read) inside the archive by our members during the 2nd Qtr 2004. On the "free" side, about the same number during the same time–there’s about 100 free sample articles people can read. So, call it about 1 million hits a quarter. I shudder to think how many hits we would have if almost 50,000 articles were on the "free side," just as HBO would get huge ratings if it was part of basic cable.

We started with 8 magazines in 1996. Now up to 121. We pitch other magazines constantly, and we accept electronic magaizines.

One of the most interesting subgenres we tap into is the expert who never was given a media outlet. He’d like to start a newsletter, but doesn’t want to go through all the trouble of gathering subscribers, tracking money, setting deadlines, learning new software, and dealing with printing and postage. He just wants to write when he wants and get some recognition and maybe a little bit of revenue from his work. offers him a place to start. We’ve helped half a dozen newsletters start on–some go on to bigger things, others continue with, and some never get added to, but the point is that there’s a place for them and their work.

Sure, they can do their own website, but there’s a reason why the majority of websites typically stagnate after 4-6 months–too much work. inspires them as they become part of the MagWeb coalition as it is as simple as sending a Word Document to an e-mail box. We take care of all the rest. I’d like to add more of these as time goes on.

Roughly 84% of the articles can download in under a minute on a 14.4 modem (which people still use, especially non-US members). Quite often it’s faster, but that’s the stat. Those with broadband cable or DSL barely have time to blink before those 84% appear. We also warn you about the other 16% (that comes from the ergonomic studies I mentioned earlier).

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