Military-Today.com Scales Up With A Funding Drive
Like this site, Military-Today.com is an independent venture for a specific audience.
To further its subject matter coverage, Military-Today’s founder Andrius Genys is soliciting donations from his readers. Only a small fraction of the needed funding has arrived.
Launched in 2006, Military-Today.com was among the first websites of its kind to embed video clips on its pages.
Miltary-Today serves as a convenient database for specifications of various weapon systems. Although the concept isn’t novel, at the time its founder wanted to improve the current state of how weapon systems were presented online.
Prior to sites like Military-Today or even Military Factory, printed source books by Jane’s were the most reliable texts for information on modern arms. Genys describes himself as a lifelong enthusiast whose fascination for weapons and history goes back to his childhood.
“At some point this interest transitioned from a hobby to a profession,” he tells 21AAR via email.
In 2000 Genys began writing about weapon systems for various websites. It wasn’t until 2006, however, that Military-Today.com was born. Despite its bootstrapped origins and a small staff of part-time volunteers, Military-Today thrived.
Since its founding, Genys writes in an open letter to readers, “More than 1,000 articles and over 500 videos have been published on Military-Today.”
For now Military-Today’s articles are divided into sections, each providing details about modern tanks, warships, helicopters, aircraft, wheeled transports, and small arms.
“Well over four million people from all over the world come to our website to access information…free of charge.”
Funding Enters The Picture
The impressive metrics often propel Military-Today’s content to page one results on Google and other search engines. With the advent of e-publishing and convertible PDF files, Genys soon became an author with a growing catalog. These can be bought at Amazon.
The books are about weapon systems and carry the Military-Today brand. The volume on small arms can be downloaded for free. While Genys is proud of what Military-Today has achieved in its eight years of existence, he acknowledges its shortcomings.
“The military market is booming [and] we don’t have enough man hours and resources to cover it,” Genys admits.
It’s an admirable gesture, since the type of broad coverage Genys describes is done by a pitiful few media outlets and think tanks like IHS Jane’s or Globalsecurity.org.
Military-Today shares the burden of most online ventures–a profound lack of revenue. Rather than pitch venture capitalists, Genys is crowdsourcing. Military-Today is open to submissions and readers can edit content they find questionable. Last year, Genys published an appeal for $10,000.
“At its core, Military-Today is driven by revenue from Google advertisements,” Genys explains. “We are selling e-books,” he adds.
Genys admits this meager income isn’t enough to sustain the site in the long-term. So he’s seeking donations in $5, $20, and $50 increments–or more. The funds, according to Genys, are for development costs and hiring “military analysts, editors, programmers, and designers.”
“I am committed to expanding [Military-Today] significantly,” Genys says.
Genys believes crowdsourcing is a must, “a huge step forward that cannot be done without the help of the fans.”
So far, Genys has raised $1,137. Donations can be made via PayPal.