Fast Seduction 101 (at FastSeduction.com) is a web site devoted to helping chumps turn into champs at the art of seduction». It has been online since October 1999, has always been free to access, and the plan is to keep it that way. Although most of the content comes from external public sources, the entirety of the web site (structure, presentation, resource tools, databases) is owned and operated by Learn The Skills Corp. and maintained entirely by just 2 dedicated people: Formhandle (handling all technical and maintenance details since October 1999) and and TokyoPUA (handling all administrative, financial, and promotional aspects since July 2001). Both put effort in the creation and management of new content. The site is constantly being expanded with new content, tools, and resources.
Here are some commonly asked questions and facts about the site:
Q: "Where does all this information come from?"
A: Mainly, the content for the Player Guide and archive search gateway used to come from the public USENet newsgroup alt.seduction.fast (ASF, now referred to as Unmoderated ASF or "uASF"). Although postings made to USENet are copyright of their respective authors, the republishing of such articles in another freely accessible medium (such as this web site) is considered acceptable and primarily classified as "fair use". The archive is now regularly updated with posts originating from the Moderated ASF forum ("mASF") on this site. Other parts of this site contains content reproduced with permission from resources such as Ross Jeffries' Speed Seduction courseware, Clifford's Seduction Newsletter, Maniac High's Seduction Web Site, and various other published works. The common ground for a lot of those resources now happens to be mASF. The rest of the site is made up of original and contributed material, content-driven tools and resources, and discussion forums.
Q: "Why is this site important?"
A: Because it is is the common meeting ground for guys at various levels of pickup and seduction skills and is one of the primary ways guys find out about the resources available to them. It is also one of the rare places on this planet where the "dating" mindset is thrown out the window in favor of more direct (and fruitful) methods of seducing and sleeping with women fast and efficiently. And, unlike what some cynics may think, the knowledge from this site (and related resources) teaches men how to be the men that women truly want, not the sappy doormats they say they want. Fast Seduction 101 goes against the ideas and teachings of "normal" society and gets to the very core of how to actually meet and attract women.
Q: "Can I access the mASF forum through a newsreader instead of web browser?"
A: Yes. You can even access it through e-mail. The Player Guide has a detailed section describing how to do this. Using a newsreader allows you to do things like filter out certain posts by author, subject, e-mail, etc. It also allows you to mark certain threads for "watching", mark other threads for "ignoring", save articles of interest to you, browse through threaded articles visually, compose messages with a more user-friendly and customizable interface, and sort results in any number of ways (by author, date, subject, thread, size, etc.)
Q: "Why should I read the mASF FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions document) first, then lurk for some time, and only then post something?"
A: Because the group already has enough repeated questions and none of the regular posters to mASF enjoy answering the same questions over and over. It's also good to read the FAQ to know what the agreed upon rules are when posting to the group so as not to piss other people off and to be able to contribute to the knowledge and discussions in a meaningful way.
Q: "How are you able to keep this web site free? What's the 'catch'?"
A: My primary goal for running this site is NOT about making money. It started out primarily as a means for me to pull together a whole lot of resources into one big knowledge database for my own personal use. I figured other guys would find it of interest so I allowed public access to it. From there, the resources grew and I started adding things that I thought would help site visitors even more, as I found the time. Although the traffic has grown tremendously in the past couple years, the site will remain free. I am able to do this because I used to consider it a hobby and also maintain my own servers, with no concern (so far) over the need for outside resources. I also think that the kind of information found on this site should be readily available to any man who wants it. This is the kind of information that most (of not almost all) men are never taught, especially not to such a level of detail and insight. Yet this is the kind of information that almost all men want, and most men need. Recently, I've moved forward in devoting my full time to running and maintaining the site, with no plans to change the current production and business model. There is no "catch".
Q: "Where do you find the time to maintain such a huge site?"
A: Contrary to how it might appear, this site is almost entirely automated. In real life, I've spent a number of years being a web designer, developer, and manager. I've utilized and taken advantage of all those skills to put this site together in such a way as to be mostly hands-off. Almost all pages on the site are generated through a dynamic scripting process which utilizes a central templating system to keep the look of the entire site unified and easily manageable. The dynamic scripting process also allows for enhancements such as acronym pop-ups, formatting, page caching, and link tracking. The archive search gateway database is updated daily with new posts by an automated process (which also includes an automated intelligent "scrubber" to filter out junk and spam posts). The web boards' sign-up and posting mechanisms are entirely automated, P.A.I.R. sign-up and account management is entirely automated, search databases are re-indexed through automated means. The Cliff newsletter archive is generated automatically from a central repository of raw e-mails at least once per week as new newsletters become available (although the search index updating process for it has to be initiated manually). The PDF/ZIP archives of uASF/mASF posts is updated by an automated process whenever needed. The Java chat system is piggy-backed on top of an IRC system which allows for automated features and management. The things that take time for the site are mASF moderation, occasional content creation, updates to the news section, FAQ, gradual Player Guide re-writes, feature enhancements, acronym additions, links to external resources, and the article repository section. And, of course, visual tweaks and writing new code to automate various site features. There is more, but mostly just a large accumulation of small, regularly needed tasks.
Q: "Why do you ban 'offline browsers' from this site?"
A: Because they are disruptive to site traffic. Except for custom-coded robot crawlers written by conscientious programmers, every crawler I've ever observed or investigated blatantly violates common web robot guidelines. Any programmer who knows how to code an effective robot will be able to avoid being blocked from site access. I won't explain how, you just have to know. If you don't know and want to crawl the site, odds are your crawler activity will be disruptive, detected by the web server in real-time, and block your IP's access for a 24 hour period.
Why do I have such blocking rules in place? Because occasionally an individual will hit the site and completely hog the resources by crawling the site for the purpose of offline browsing. The reason these people need to browse offline is not a problem. Their methods, however, are disruptive. I've seen some people hit the site at a clip of 20-30 hits/minute non-stop for almost an hour. Since a lot of the site content is dynamically driven, this hit rate is simply too disruptive and CPU-intensive. I'd rather most people have reliable access to the site than a few people having the luxury to hog the site just so they can browse it offline.
Q: "What kind of hardware do you use to run the site?"
A: Over the course of the past 3 years, the hardware for the site has been upgraded twice; the first server was based around a 366MHz Celeron and the newest one based on a 2.8GHz Pentium 4. The server before that one is now being used as an emergency backup mirror and test platform. And, there is a third server which mainly handles my personal mail, web sites, and uptime monitoring / downtime alerts. I've built each system myself in order to keep costs down while maximizing performance. Most of what this site runs on, though, is a joke compared to most commercial web sites, as the budget for the site is limited, even though the site gets more traffic than many commercial sites (it is curently ranked within the top 1% of commercial web sites in terms of traffic). I maintain my own servers because there are too many proprietary systems in place and the sites take up a lot of disk space (for databases, indexes, scripts, templates, cache files, log files, graphics, and various session-tracking files). Whenever I get the time and resources, I do my best to upgrade to a better setup. In the meantime, here is a description of the current setup (the latest hardware upgrade was in November 2002):
- Frontend server (proxy connections, throttling, logging, mail, core site files, databases, indexing, caching, scheduling, automation):
533MHz FSB ATX motherboard
2.8GHz Pentium 4
1GB 184-pin 333MHz/PC2700 (CAS2) DDR SDRAM (ECC) w/ clamped heat dissipators
On-board ATA/133 RAID-1 HDD configuration:
(2) 120GB EIDE ATA/100 HDDs 7200RPM, 8.5ms, 8MB cache
Aluminum 400w power supply (Aluminum helps heat dissipation)
Aluminum ATX mini-tower case
Extra large CPU heatsink/fan
4 case fans
Remote dial reboot hardware
CPU running temp: 34°-46°
25-minute UPS power backup
- Emergency backep mirror server (exact data mirror), which actually used to be the previous server before the latest upgrade:
133Mhz FSB ATX motherboard
1GHz Pentium III
1GB 168-pin 133MHz SDRAM
ATA/133 RAID-1 HDD configuration:
(2) 30GB EIDE ATA/100 HDDs 7200RPM, 11ms, 2MB cache
300w power supply
Standard ATX mini-tower case
Standard CPU heatsink/fan
CPU running temp: 83°-98°
15-minute UPS power backup
- Watchdog server (uptime checking, page alerts):
66MHz FSB ATX motherboard
233MHz Pentium I w/ MMX
256MB 72-pin 66MHz EDO RAM
6GB EIDE ATA/66 HDD, 5400 RPM, 12.5ms, no cache
250w power supply
Standard CPU heatsink/fan
CPU running temp: ?
15-minute UPS power backup
- Line type/speed:
Stage 1 was: 384Kbps SDSL
Stage 2 was: 512Kbps co-location hosting w/ 100Mbit burt capability
Stage 3 (current): 1544Kbps T-1
Current disk usage (as of May 2001):
- uASF/mASF archive database (compacted): 1550MB, growing by 250-500KB/day
- Frontend gzipped log files dating back to Oct 1999: 2+GB, growing by 9MB/day
- Current live frontend daily log file peaks (uncompressd): 220MB
- Crawler scripts and crawler session tracking: 70MB/daily
- Dynamic search feature caching: 1-2GB between manual flushes
- Frontend skeleton files: 3KB
- Configuration, scheduling files: 80KB
- Live query log: 25MB
- Compressed query logs: 8.5MB
- PAIR database, templates, and tracking files: 26MB
- HTML/graphic backups (compressed): 8MB
- Database backups: 1.9GB+
- Live error tracking logs (uncompressed): 600KB
- Extra search features indexes and management files: 60MB
- Site-wide scripts: 1.4MB
- Site-wide templates: 300KB
- HTML, graphics, source raw content files: 16.5MB
None of the above includes disk space needed for Maniac's hosted web site or logs.
Basically, at any given time, 6.5GB of disk space is taken up by the site. Over 8GB when including the contents of Maniac's site & logging. And it's all growing at about 16-20MB/day, on average. When viewing a snapshot of all necesary files to fully run the site, the total disk usage as of December 2003 was over 18GB. The site will also soon be re-tooled to make use of an extremely large cache/index set (20-80GB) in order to improve database access and performance, for a total of anywhere between 30GB and 80GB to run a site like this!
In order to host this site more robustly in the future, I would need to continue upgrading the system(s) and possibly co-locate at some nearby datacenter facility (with reliable back-up & alert support). As far as hardware, here is what I'm aiming for in case anyone would like to donate to help out:
- Redundant ATX power supply with failover protection ($80+)
- Hard drive cooling fans/cases ($20-80)
- A faster Pentium 4 (Socket 478) - fastest currently available is 3.4GHz ($700+)
- 2-hour UPS power backup ($250+)
- 4-channel SCSI RAID controller ($200+)
- (4) 120+ GB SCSI HDD, RAID-0/1 configuration (striped & mirrored), hot-swappable ($3000+)
- 2GB 184-pin 333MHz/PC2700 (CAS2) DDR SDRAM (ECC) w/ clamped heat dissipators ($850+)