What happened at DSSResources.COM in 2004?

I have been involved with Web publishing for almost 10 years and the possibilities and prospects remain exciting and limitless. This review is a look back and a look forward. Every 18 months or so I contemplate redesigning and updating DSSResources.COM and I evaluate the knowledge that is accumulating in our field. Recently, I have been developing additional related Web sites to better define the knowledge domain and I have been focusing on traditional book publishing to formalize some of the materials from DSS News, especially the Ask Dan! columns.

It may seem hard to believe, but on September 28, 1999, we activated DSSResources.COM as an independent, commercial web site. It has survived more than 5 years and we can pay the bills and contemplate new ventures.  DSS Research Resources was operated as an academic Website hosted at the University of Northern Iowa from October 2, 1995 to September 27, 1999.

Our revenues from advertising and subscriptions pay for web hosting, the Topica newsletter service for DSS News, the cable modem connection, computer hardware and software, some travel expenses, subscriptions and some wages. My oldest son Alex is the Webmaster of DSSResources.COM.  He checks the error logs, helps with DSS News and periodically works on new capabilities.  This past 9 months he has been working with MySQL and PHP to develop the new Web resource sites, DecisionAutomation.COM and PlanningSkills.COM.  We hope to completely redesign DSSResources.COM in coming months. My son Ben handles the follow-ups with vendors when we post a news story and he is the subscription specialist.  He sends out the welcome messages, deals with issues and does some marketing work.  He has been working on the CookingMaven.COM website as a school project. My wife Carol handles the business side of DSSResources.COM and our publishing ventures.  She pays the bills, monitors the revenues and files the tax forms. My youngest son Greg, age 9, and I do everything else! This is a family business.

So what happened in 2004?

We published 8 articles, 5 case studies, and 4 DSS Thought Leader interviews. We published about 45 DSS news articles each month, we published 26 issues of DSS News and I wrote 19 Ask Dan! columns. I attended Oracle AppsWorld, the DAMA + Meta-data Conference and the Crystal Ball User Conference. I attended AMCIS 2004 and the Decision Sciences Institute Conference in Boston.  The University of Northern Iowa Department of Management provided funding for some of my travel.  

We have served about 5,400 distinct hosts each week. From Tuesday, 31-August-2004 to Sunday, 19-Dec-2004, our logs show that we had 647,319 total successful page requests and 13,593 average successful requests per day. During that period we served 60,864 distinct hosts. In September 2004, we had 189,824 requests for pages; October 2004: 193,866 requests for pages; November 2004: 164,828 requests for pages.

What pages are popular at DSSResources.COM?

From Tuesday, 31-August-2004 to Sunday, 19-Dec-2004 we had 21,456 requests for my paper "A Brief History of Decision Support Systems", 17,331 requests for a "A Brief History of Spreadsheets", and 17,002 requests for "What is a DSS?". During that most recent period, we had 4,488 requests for the Decision Support Systems Web Tour at Other popular resources include: 3,782 requests for the Decision Support Systems Glossary 1999; and 1261 requests for the DSS Researchers Web Page Directory .

Popular articles and cases include Databeacon Staff, "East of England Observatory adopts hosted services decision support solution" with 1244 requests and Todd Freter's article "XML: Document and Information Management" with 1243 requests.

The Thought leader interviews have proved popular and news stories are read on average 150 times. The Decision Support Readiness Audit Questionnaire PDF was downloaded 505 times in the past 3 months.

So where is DSSResources.COM headed in 2005?

The DSS FAQ book should be published in January by iUniverse.  The paperback is priced at USD$ 20.95 and the hardcover at USD$ 30.95. Also, we are moving the Ask Dan! questions into a MySQL database. The home page for DSSResources.COM will be evolving.  We'll be adding new pages on DSS Tools and on common Decision Making Tasks. I'm working on an Ask Dan! on these two content areas.

DecisionAutomation.COM and PlanningSkills.COM should receive more attention in 2005.  The plan is that they will remain as free, advertising supported websites. CookingMaven.COM will be reviewed for progress and potential in February 2005.

Every week day you will find the latest DSS News at DSSResources.COM and every two weeks the current headlines will be listed in the DSS News e-newsletter.

We are always looking for new cases and articles.  Please contact us so we can review your materials. Also, we want to do some additional field research case studies. Let us know if we can write about decision support efforts at your company or organization.

The above response is from Power, D., What happened at DSSResources.COM in 2004?  DSS News, Vol. 5, No. 26, December 19, 2004.

Last update: 2005-08-16 22:04
Author: Daniel Power

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