Help! The ceiling came down while I was writing.

Updated on 30 June 2015 by

I need your support to help UMPCPortal through 2015 and it into its 10th year of providing independently funded ultramobile PC information, reviews and news. This is a direct call for community support

ultramobile fanboy

Ultra Mobile Fanboy helps as much as he can!

UMPCPortal has been run by me since 2006. I love mobile computing and focus on quality news, reviews, how-to and opinion but this site is unsustainable in its current form. I’ve delayed this post for as long as I can but now it’s time to call on direct community support.

The problem is that because of my passion for deep-level content I didn’t pay enough attention to changes in the search-engine landscape, the ad-blocker effect, social media requirements, mobile UI requirements, headline trends, spam and hacks. Despite what Google say, writing good content that people want to read isn’t enough to support a full-time blogger, even if you’ve got an understanding, working wife. [Thanks Claudia!]

The ceiling has come down on us and we need to put a lot of effort in to build it up again, or I close up shop. I’m asking for your help in donations or content to avoid that. You can also become a Patreon and get a direct channel to me for product Q&A.




  Patreon
$2 per month and i’ll support you too!

 

The last month has been particularly tough. The pageview numbers have been terrible, the revenue laughable given the time I spend working on the site. Our product database works incredibly well in terms of eCPM but it’s 80% dependent on our search engine visibility. UMPCPortal was hit hard by the joint affects of a spammy hack (I’ve worked to resolve three separate hacks in the last 2 months,) a bug (I lost days to a strange issue that ultimately required a re-install of the back-end) and what could be a Google algorithm change. The falling revenues from in-article advertising thanks to ad-blockers isn’t helping either. UMPCPortal needs a ‘runway’ in order to take-off again. Please help build that runway.

Changes

UMPCPortal and it’s content is over 9 years old. There are over 5500 articles, 24000 gallery images and thousands of product pages so when the site needs to pivot quickly, as it does now, it can’t. In order to address the needs of the modern reader and the modern search engine we need to get rid of keywords like ‘WiBrain’ and ‘HTC Shift’ and ‘XPTE.’  We need to create content for the mobile audience. We need to improve the security and performance of our server. We need to be more active and responsive on popular social networks. We should have an app. We need to start covering ultramobile PC gaming!

Help me and I’ll answer your questions on Facebook

Chippy needs your help.

Chippy needs your help.

We’ve started already. Thousands of old article and gallery pages have been removed from search engines. Thousands more are going through the process. We’ve taken a look at our keyword and SEO landscape and have employed the SEO experts at Rheinwunder to help. We expect to dip in Q3 before we rise in Q4. Please help to build a bridge for UMPCPortal so we can reach Q4.




  Patreon
$2 per month and i’ll support you too!

I need to pull together $5K to carry out the changes listed below and I will only be able to do this with your support. Donate, share and link from your private blogs. Tell your friends about the product database on forums and social networks. Comment below. Donate content.

Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

In return for your support I will do this

  • Create mobile-friendly, ad-reduced article content. [DONE! Enjoy UMPCPortal articles on your smartphone now.]
  • Improve the speed at which we add new devices into the database. [DONE! We’ve added a second product database engineer and he’s great! Thanks Steve!]
  • Implement better product search, filter and sort tools. [DONE! See the product database summary and find your perfect mobile PC.]
  • Add headless (Mini PC) solutions to the database. [The back-end has been prepared and tested. If I reach $2K donations I will implement a full Mini PC database.]
  • Improve the mobile viewing experience for the product database.
  • Complete SEO audit and implement back-end and content changes to improve visibility in search engines.
  • Improve site security and stability (cut downtime)
  • Join me as a regular contributor on Patreon and I will be ultra-responsive with your ultramobile questions!

You can also help by buying products on Amazon through the product database. I’ll get a small percentage of any purchase you make.

Thousands of people visit this site every day but I need to treble my current figures to make this site sustainable.

I think we can do this. My SEO expert thinks we can do this too. A few dollars from regular visitors would be appreciated. If you’ve taken advice and had a successful purchase, think about donating a few dollars more.

Q3 2015 content focus.

Here’s what we’ll be focusing on in Q3.

  • Working on Windows 10 tablet PC content.
  • Preparing for attendance at IFA in September.
  • Tightening the keyword spread. It’s tempting to write about everything that interests me around mobile computing but I have to put some limits on that. The focus keywords could change after our SEO audit.
  • Creating another solar-powered ultramobile PC tour. (Sponsorship opportunity.)

Tech blogging is getting harder and I feel proud that this site has outlasted many others. The site isn’t making a loss but it’s not generating enough for a salary and certainly not enough for expansion.

umpcfanboy2




  Patreon
$2 per month and i’ll support you too!

Paid content?

No. I don’t feel comfortable putting up a paywall to regular articles. All i’m asking for is community support, and I know there’s a good community out there.

Advertise on UMPCPortal.

Finally, if you want to advertise here I’d love to cut out the middleman and do some direct ad sales. Back in 2008-2010 we had ultramobile pioneers Raon Digital as a major sponsor of the site and it worked well. A new banner sponsor for the product database would really help. I can deliver country-specific ads if you need, too.

Thanks! Suggestions?

Thanks for reading this. Thanks for reading UMPCPortal. If you have any suggestions, now is the time to let me know. Either in the comment section below or via a private message.

Comment.

You don’t have to donate. If you get this far, do me a favor. Give me a Yo! if you want to see UMPCPortal survive. Yo’s are power-ups! (Sharing this article helps too!)

35 Comments For This Post

  1. Meengla Yip says:

    How does one “donate”? I clicked on the “Donate” link above and it takes me to Paypal where I can login but don’t know who to donate to?

  2. chippy says:

    The donate buttons in the article should take you to a specially prepared donate page. Here’s the link again…https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=E5LF29HEPNZBL

  3. Meengla Yip says:

    I am able to make a small donation using your “Reply”. Thanks for the great site!

  4. Eli Ben-Shoshan says:

    Do you have any particular content that you want donated? Are you looking for people to donate time to write an article or review? If that is what you are looking for, I would be willing to volunteer a few hours a week to help out.

  5. chippy says:

    Hi Eli. I’d be interested in content about peoples experiences with new ultramobile devices, anything gaming-related (because I’m a hopeless gamer and readers seems to want more gaming stuff,) Windows 10 universal app reviews and anything related to important news. If you are interested in helping out I could set you up on a Wunderlist page so you can see news and article ideas.

  6. Joao de Oliveira says:

    Smal….tiny donation sent. Just to show my support. You always helped me out in time of need , it’s the least I could do…I wish could help more!
    All the best of luck! Keeping my fingers crossed.

  7. chippy says:

    Basso. I’m honored! Thanks.

  8. Joao de Oliveira says:

    My pleasure :) wish I could help more !!

  9. paulbram says:

    The thing I love about this site is you are focusing on a market segment that most other bloggers seem to (strangely) ignore. This is good news for you since I believe (as does IDC) that this ultra mobile PC segment seems poised for growth.

    Every other mainstream tech blogger out there seems to prefer their super specialized Macbook Air which no doubt is probably a great blogging device. However, their readers are not bloggers and as such they need to be giving attention to the types of hybrid devices that many of us really desire.

    I really appreciate this blog and hope it really takes off for you!

    Donation incoming…

  10. chippy says:

    Thanks Paul. Chasing the clicks is something that a lot of media businesses are forced to do. I remember when GottabeMobile flipped from independant mobile blog to business-model blog through an unexpected flurry of Apple iphone related posts. I guess it worked for them but that’s not my style.

  11. Morgan Thomas says:

    Hi Chippy, after so many years im happy to give something back. Hope it helps.

  12. chippy says:

    Many thanks! It’s humbling that there are people like you that have been following me for years.

  13. cybernevets says:

    I’m happy to donate. I check umpcportal and ultrabooknews almost every day, even though ultrabook news isn’t updated as frequently as it used to be.

  14. chippy says:

    Ultrabooks faded away quickly but ultrabooks are still around. UMPCPortal is my #1 focus and Chromebookworld is also being kept up to date. Ultrabooks that are under 1.3 KG should also appear on UMPCPortal.

  15. Paul Phillips says:

    Adblockers are really starting to shake the market up completely this year, they are getting a lot of attention from publishers right now. Can’t you get exemption as you’re relatively small? I wouldnt touch mobile gaming personally as I hear gaming sites are getting absolutely hammered by adblock.

  16. Paul Phillips says:

    Another thing that’s changed is the big sites are getting over 50% of their traffic from social media. Hard to do if you’re not powered by a big brand.

  17. chippy says:

    Social media is tough indeed, but search traffic, referrals and direct traffic is better. Thankfully we have a huge number of people that come here directly. I’m always amazed at that and it’s indicative of a strong community. Now if I could ruin a forum without opening a huge attack hole, I would. (Currently looking at Discourse)

  18. Paul Phillips says:

    Muut is a good forum option. They used to have a free version, not sure if they do still.

    I recommend you consider doing mobile productivity on smartphones – eg the Samsung Note and small android tablets like that Sony Z4 tablet thats just come out. These days a lot of productive stuff can be achieved on really small devices. A lot of the coverage on these devices is saturated of course, but its always the same stuff – camera, screen, battery. Maybe there is a productivity/software angle?

  19. chippy says:

    I’m looking at the Xperia Z4 tablet, iPad Air 2 (when IOS 9 comes out) and the Dell Venue 10 8000. Windows 10 Mobile and Universal Apps with Continuum, Android M and IOS 9 could change the game though. I’m watching closely, down to 5-inch screen sizes.

  20. Paul Phillips says:

    I think you should move away from WordPress if you’re getting hacked. Eg Squarespace. Let them worry about bandwidth , security and mobile. The only thing it can’t do is the Product database, though there’s probably a workaround for that.

  21. chippy says:

    Thanks for the feedback Paul. Yes, ad-blockers are shaking up the market and killing independents that use that model but I think there are other ways and I have some ideas. The product database could be my saviour. As for stabilizing the blog in terms of security I will probably stay with wordpress but reduce the reliance on plugins. That should help a lot!

  22. Adam says:

    Donated. Your coverage is appreciated, and as you note the UMPC is really starting to come into its own!

  23. chippy says:

    Thanks Adam. The Ultramobile PC space is getting more important, and widening now. Who would have thought that we’d have mini PCs in HDMI sticks!

  24. HildyJJ says:

    You might let people know that CarryPad is you.

    I remember CarryPad (and other neolithic sites) but hopefully UMPCs have attracted some young blood that might wonder when they see that name associated with the donation.

    I dropped you a hundred under my real name (why should you have the only alias here?). The memories (plus the database) are worth that. Put some toward a fund to upgrade your son to a Windows tablet.

    BTW, if you put a generic “research on Amazon” button, could you still get a sales kickback or does it have to be for a specific product? I wouldn’t mind starting my Amazon searches here if you got some benefit.

  25. chippy says:

    I spotted that donation this morning and nearly spat my tea out. Thanks!!!
    Good old Carrypad. You’re right, there are still connections to that site that I need to clean up. (Carrypad was a great name, but got a bit confusing when I started covering netbooks!)

    I can put an Amazon shop link up and get a kickback from anything you buy.within 24 hours there. I’ll have a think about how to do that best.
    Thanks again!

  26. Fug says:

    Donated this morning. I have always enjoyed your unboxing videos and look forward to seeing many more.

  27. chippy says:

    If things go well i’ll be back in the video scene soon and, hopefuly, running the live reviews again.

  28. Perry says:

    Obviously I made a quick donation to support your wonderful site, which I have enjoyed for many, many years. My first UMPC device was the Everun…..I seem to remember you even have given me advice about it over the telephone back then.

    What makes your site special for me is your passion for the subject and making efforts to explore other ‘angles’ in your reviews (e.g. making battery life estimations under various scenario’s, testing different setups of wireless connections between devices and monitors, testing encryption methods on the devices, etc.).
    So when I read your focus for Q3: “Tightening the keyword spread. It’s tempting to write about everything that interests me around mobile computing but I have to put some limits on that.”, I hope that you won’t lose your enthousiasm and creativity. Part of what I like so much about your reviews (for instance in your videos) is that you are going ‘all over the place’. This is exactly how I would act myself when getting my hands on a device for the first time…

    Anyway, keep up the good work and I hope we can enjoy your work for a long time to come.

    Regards,
    Perry

  29. chippy says:

    Thanks for the feedback Perry. Great to hear that you’ve been around since, i guess, 2007! As for ‘tightening the keywords’ it means that the business side of things (which I have to take care of now) will be strict. E.g. Not covering all-in-one PCs or IoT or smartwatches or PC gaming. It does, however, mean that I can still mess about within the main sectors that I will cover. HDMI PCs, Mini PCs, UMPCs, Subnotebooks, 2-in-1s and laptops under 1.3 KG. I think there’s enough scope there for some fun!!

  30. tmarks11 says:

    Yep, I have been here too since the beginning, and your site prompted me to buy an Everun as well. Hopefully you will get enough of a kick of funding to get back on track!

  31. Mircea Costeiu says:

    I will be donating as soon as I am done posting this message. You bring a different, deeper, more technical view in your blogs. I always enjoyed your writing. I wish you the best.

  32. Ireen APPLY it Yourself says:

    I have started a monthly donating at patreon. Hope very thing turn out well.

  33. Lee Sze Yong says:

    donated US$20; not a big amount; please continue to write & shoot videos about UMPCs

  34. ClioCreslind says:

    Thank you Chippy. Multiply that by 7 years.

    You dig deep into the subjects, and have a unique perspective based on a solid knowledge foundation. It’s difficult to find on the net.

    Keep up the good work.

  35. Dillon Chan says:

    Hey chippy,
    I’m not one of the oldest viewers of your site, but for the last couple of years I’ve appreciated the content you’ve provided and can’t thank you enough. I’ll be donating once I open up a paypal account (soon!!!).
    I especially loved how you reviewed the Vivotab Note 8 Stylus. As a student, I’d love to see more on tablets with active digitizers but I realize that may not be the most popular topic :P

    Hoping for the best.

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