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History of LCM's Web Presence

1996, We Began with GeoCities (Now Yahoo/GeoCities)

Last Chance Ministries first developed a presence on the World Wide Web (WWW) late in 1996. It was a one-page site that was hosted by GeoCities (later Yahoo/GeoCities) and it supplied a brief introduction and a few links. It took a few days to learn enough HTML just to create the one page by hand, and also took some time to learn how to post it on the web. That trying experience did not inspire me to go any further with web development at that time.

The main thrust of LCM at that time was fairly simple and limited in scope. We desire to establish a web presence and make information and images readily available to keep our friends and supporters informed so that they would be better equipped as to how to pray for us.

However, in time I began to receive occasional e·mail from people who had discovered the site and liked what they saw. It seems the simple one page site was picked up by web-bots of some of the most popular search engines without my efforts!

Even so, the site was mostly neglected until the middle of 1999. At that time I was the United States and recovering from illness, and I was blessed to obtain more powerful computer equipment and bundled software. Later that year, a good friend, Andrew Berger, of Charles Town, West Virginia, also provided me with Microsoft's excellent FrontPage 98 software package. I am greatly indebted to Andy for his gracious gift which I have used extensively to develop LCM. The more user-friendly web building software made site development more feasible.

During this same time, I was speaking to Keith Comstock, a friend that attended Cross Lanes Bible Church, which is our home church, and was surprised to learn that he and his brother, David, had founded their own company that provided web hosting service, Fenwick Technologies, Inc. He then informed me that he would give me some space if I wanted build a website and host it. It looked to me that the Lord was leading and providing me to get involved in a technology that I knew very little to nothing about at that time.

Thus, and in fear and trembling, I ventured into the real of website development for the purpose of extending our ministry to the world via the World Wide Web, or the Internet. During this time I was recovering from a severe stroke (April of 1999) and a subsequent broken leg (December of 2000) that greatly limited my physical activities for the next few years.

2000, LastChanceMinistries.com Domain Purchased

In June of 2000 I obtain LCM's domain registration (www.lastchanceministries.com), and soon began to fully develop the site. The Comstocks initially supplied me with 25 MB of space. The site is now undergoing continual development and expansion on a regular basis.

The purpose and my vision for the scope of LCM also increased at this time. In addition to keeping our friends better informed, I saw a marvelous opportunity to promote the teaching of God's word. I also saw an opportunity to hopefully help the people to which the Lord has called us to minister by promoting tourism, which benefits the economy and all here on the Island of Carriacou, one of states in the nation of Grenada. 

2003, LCM Increases Bandwidth and Storage Space and Adds MP3 Audio Streaming Preaching and Teaching

In 2003 LCM went through another phase of expansion, mostly out of necessity. I had to move my site from a server that has been provided for free by a friend of mine that had his own Internet Provider company. However, early in 2003, he sold most of his company and I had to find another server that was very reasonable in cost and good in service (Authentic Hosting -- $3.00 US per month for 300 megs of storage and 3 gigs of bandwidth). This gave me much more space and available bandwidth.

The middle of 2003 I conducted a feasibility study, then I purchased a relatively inexpensive digital recorder (Sony ICD-P17). I began recording our services at Windward Bible Church here on Carriacou, Grenada, in the Southern Caribbean of the West Indies. I also purchased a relatively inexpensive media editor (Media Center by J. River) that enabled me to edit the messages as needed, and also produce and supply a musical intro and close with each message. Lastly, I use a free application, MusicMatch Jukebox to edit the tagging information (Title, contact information, etc.) for each audio message. (I believe J. River's Media Center will do the same things, but I have not yet taken the time to figure out how.)

Lastly, I set up a section on LCM to publish the audio messages in the MP3 format. This section of LCM became fully functional in December of 2003. (Click here if you wish to read more about why, how, and the time required to post messages here on LCM.) Now, we have a potential audience of literally billions!

The latter part of 2005, the world's leading search engine, Google, reported that it has indexed over 8,000,000,000 (eight billion) web pages. Amazingly, if you search for 'MP3 Sermons,' 'MP3 Bible Teaching,' MP3 Audio Messages,' etc, LCM will be very near the top -- if not at the top -- of the results! I praise God for all of this!

Since the MP3 Audio Section was picked up by the search engines, my bandwidth usage has increased tremendously! As of January 2006, LCM is getting 4,000+ visitors (those who remain at least one minute) and 9,000+ page loads per month. Some internal stats show the page loads to be closer to 20,000 pre month. We also get 120,000 to 150,000 hits (those who begin to load a page but back out in less than one minute). My internal stats on my primary server reported that the hits are 25% to 30% more, but I figure that some of this is due to web-crawlers, web-bots, spiders, and internal site traffic.

2004, Due to Demand, LCM Doubles Space and Bandwidth

In 2004, I had to increase my storage space and bandwidth allotment to keep up with the new traffic and space needed due to the MP3 audio section that has been growing. My server cost increased to $20.00 per month for 2 Gigs of storage and 20 Gigs of bandwidth. I also upgraded my digital audio recording quality by upgrading to the Sony ICD-ST25 digital recorder. I plan to began posting messages that will have been sampled at 16kbps, which will sound much better that those sampled at 11kbps.

2006, LCM Moves to GoDaddy Hosting to Increase Ministry Capabilities by Increasing Bandwidth, Space, and Downtime

Early in 2006 six, I have began using GoDaddy as my web-hosting provider. It is much more dependable and economical. I have contacted their customer support by phone many times for various reasons, and I have always gotten through in minutes. Each time the support personnel knew their job, and they were polite and patient. More importantly, they also solved my problems. My transfer from Authentic Hosting to GoDaddy was completed by May 1, 2006. Click here for my in-depth review of my experience with GoDaddy thus far.

With GoDaddy, I now have 50 Gigs of storage and 500 Gigs of monthly bandwidth, which costs about $7.00 per month! With this new capacity I hope to begin offering the entire Bible in MP3 format for downloading, and perhaps even some video streaming and downloads for some specific Bible teaching.

Implementation of Google Adsense
Click here to report an inappropriate ad.

2006, LCM Adds Google Adsense to cut Operating Costs

Early, in 2006, I also added Google Adsense to hopefully offset the cost of maintaining my servers and four domains. This is why visitors will see three to four ads just under the navigation bar at the top of each page, and also four to eight ads located in the right shared border of each page.

As of April of 2006, Google Adsense is generating enough to cover my cost. I am hoping to break even by the end of the year. Google Adsense enables Google's ad-server to place ads on my pages. The ads are supposed to be based upon the content of each page and suited to visitors based upon their IP address. Thus, the ads may be different for visitors from different countries, and even for different regions within the larger countries. It is a simple and effortless way for websites to generate revenue and provide information and links that could be of interest and benefit for each visitor. Each time a visitor click on Google's ads on any website, that click will generate income for the website, ranging from a few cents to a few dollars for each click.

Google has a firm and clear policy that prohibits ads that direct visitors to websites that promote any of the following, and much more:

  • Illicit drugs and drug paraphernalia

  • Pornography, adult, or mature content

  • Gambling or casino-related content

  • Sales or promotion of beer or hard alcohol

  • Sales or promotion of tobacco or tobacco-related products

  • Sales or promotion of prescription drugs

You visit this page to learn more, https://www.google.com/adsense/policies

Thus, a visitor to LCM should never see ads promoting any of the above content. However, there are a few drawbacks to the Adsense program. One current problem is not having absolute and full control over ads that appear on your website. Essentially, I can block any ads that I may consider competitive or offense to my visitors. However, I currently have no way of knowing ahead of time what ads will appear on each page for all visitors coming from various regions of the world. But, once I see an ad, or someone reports an ad to me they believe to be inappropriate, I can then block the ad based upon its URL (i.e., web) address. That is why I ask for visitors to please take the time to click on the links that will enable them to contact me via e·mail to report the ad. I need both the name of the page on my website where they saw the ad and also the URL address of the website to which visitors are directed.

June of 2007 LCM Removed Google
Adsense Ads Due to Problems We Could Not Control

On June 19, 2007, I removed the Google Adsense ads from LCM's website. Initially, it was a good source of income to make it possible to keep LCM running. However, in time it became more and more problematic to use because Google does not allow full control over ads by a website publisher.

It became impossible for me to know just what ads were being placed on what pages for all visitors from all over the world. As I understand it, this is due to Google's ad server not just using the content of the pages on which the ads are posted to determine what ads to display, but it also uses the IP address for each visitor. That means that ads on the same page will likely vary from visitor to visit based upon a visitors location! I also suspect that the Google toolbar that many use, including myself, also provides feedback to Google on any pages you visit so that its ad server can provide ads that would likely be more of interest to the visitor. This can be good at times for may visitors, however, it made it impossible for me to know just what ads were going to be placed on any pages on LCM for visitors at anytime. Even using the Google Adsense Preview Tool would not solve this problem because it cannot make my computer look as though I am visiting from other parts of each country from all over the world.

This is not likely a problem, and perhaps even beneficial, to most commercial and non-Christian websites. However, I was embarrassed when I discovered that Google had posted ads for some dating services on some of my pages! As far as could tell, they were done in good taste as far as those type of websites go, but this was well outside of the thrust and goals for LCM.

I also had numerous ads placed by other groups that were down right offensive to me, including websites that promoted New Age philosophies and spiritual thinking, witchcraft, Kabalistic views, Islamic teaching, etc. Some of these ads actually led to websites that denounce and attack the teaching found on LCM!

I would block offensive ads anytime I would become aware of them being placed on LCM. Unfortunately, I could not block a "type" of ads, but only the specific URL (i.e., "universal resource locator" or web address) of the website to which each ad linked. As a result, new ads would eventually show up or the old ones would simple change their web address so that my blocks would not catch them in the future.

I even had some cases where ads led to two or three websites that promote one individual and his work -- and many Christians suspect that this person could be the antichrist! I frankly do not believe this person is or will be the antichrist, but I believe that he or someone like him could one day become the antichrist. In any case, his stated philosophies and activities are certainly antichristian from a biblical perspective and fall within the biblical teachings of some things predicted about the coming antichrist. Please do not write me and ask me who this person is because I am not going to increase his ranking in the search engines by providing links to his websites or his name here on LCM. I will deal with this in another area of LCM that is more appropriate.

Lastly, I was troubled by the fact that I could not tell just what ads were clicked through and produced income. As of the writing of this section in June of 2007, Google does not produce anything to let a publisher know just what ads were clicked on, what pages on a website those ads were clicked, and how much income each ad produced. I find it hard to believe that Google could not provide this information to publishers if they wanted to do so, especially for those that have and are using Google Analytics website monitoring as I am.

It was issues as stated above that finally led me to stop precipitating in the Google Adsense program as I had been. I hope that many other perspective Christian website publishers that may be thinking of using Google will be so advised. I hope that in the future Google will rework its ad program so that more like minded Christians will be comfortable and confident in using their powerful service in the future.

In the mean time am very thankful that the Lord has provided someone who has graciously begun to support the LCM website ministry completely. Praise the Lord for His faithfulness! 

Status of LCM's Five Domains

As of June of 2007, I still have the primary domain of www.lastchanceministries.com, and also, www.windwardbiblechurch.org, which points to the Windward Bible Church section of LCM on my primary domain hosting service now at GoDaddy. I also continue to maintain a copy of my site on on another server for free at www.lastchanceministries.org. I hope to maintain the copied site as long as I can so that people can get to us even if our main server is down. Early in 2006, I also procured www.lastchanceministries.net when I acquired my new server. It is now forwarded to my primary domain. In June od 2006 we also registered www.carriacou.info which points directly to the section of LCM that provides googols of information about our lovely island home of Carriacou, Grenada, which is located in the warm, lovely, and tropical Southern Caribbean of the West Indies.

What is truly remarkable and most meaningful to me, and makes it so worthwhile, is the number of visitors that come to LCM from Muslim and Communist countries that are looking for audio messages to which they can listen or download. I it is not necessary to mention any county by name here, but there are very large numbers of people in the world that live in such places.

We get visitors from every country that allows its constituents to connect to the World Wide Web. Unfortunately, many of these people often do not own a Bible and cannot hear the gospel even if they desire to do so. For this reason, we do not make our web-stats viewable by the general public. Visitors to any section of Last Chance Ministries need not fear that someone from their government can view our stats and track their visits back to the computers they used to visit our site.

As many would understand, people in such countries could be literally putting their lives on the line by merely listening to Bible teaching in any form. Thus, it is not likely that they are willing to leave any kind of financial trail in purchasing MP3 Sermons as many sites offer. Nor would many -- if any -- be willing to supply an e·mail address that would give them access to listening to sermons on some of the more popular and more used sites that make this requirement. So, I believe we are helping to fill a very big hole here, as is likely the case with some other sites.

I especially desire the prayers of you that are believers for those dear ones that seem so hungry for the simple teaching of God's Word. Please pray for their safety, salvation, and growth. Pray also for me. It has become evident that the Enemy is not happy with what we are doing these days by God's marvelous grace, direction, provision, and with the wisdom He grants.

For those interested, I have provided a section entitled What We Believe that should answer any questions you may have about our doctrine, missionary work, LCM, and other areas of ministry.

The Webmaster, Walter Robinson II
Updated June 19, 2007

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