T H E S T O R Y O F A S S T R
A long time ago [September 1996], in a land far, far away [about 300 miles or so] there lived a college student with an interest in erotic literature. While fellow students were busy running mp3 servers and the like, this student decided to put up a small FTP site and invite an author by the name of Alan Mathews to post his new story to it. The author accepted, and the earliest form of ASSTR was born.
As the years went on, the site grew bigger and bigger. Windows machines were replaced with the more reliable UNIX-based Linux operating system. The site expanded its services to include web site hosting for its authors - who by that time numbered in the hundreds. A search engine was added. The one college student now had a group of people working on the site with several old computers set up in the corner of a dorm room. Life was good, and everyone was happy - or so it seemed.
One day, years after the site made its debut, along came a person who saw fit to file a complaint about the site with the college. According to the complaint, this "good samaritan" thought it showed poorly for the school to be hosting such a site. Upon a little investigation, however, it turned out that the complainant was none other than a fellow in the porn site advertising business. Theory has it that this fellow was trying to "eliminate the competition" as he allegedly had done in the past. In any case, the school agreed with the samaritan's assessment and immediately pulled the plug on ASSTR [and the student's apartment's entire Internet connection, to the dismay of the roommates]. The era of free Internet service was over.
Despite this setback, the ASSTR admins refused to see their dreams shatter into a nightmare. Through the assistance of a few kind gents, the ASSTR team was able to put up a simple web page explaining the situation and solicit some donations to get things going again. The response was amazing - between July 1999 and April 2000, over $20,000 was sent in by people who apparently did not want ASSTR to die either!
The ASSTR admins used the new capital to do a few things with the donors' hard earned cash. Equipment was purchased (at the time, state of the art) to run the site. A contract was negotiated with an ISP in Georgia. A lawyer was hired to assist in forming a non-profit corporation to run the site. By the fall of 1999, ASSTR was back online and better than ever. In November of the same year, ASSTR brought back the ASSM newsgroup by creating a custom/proprietary newsgroup moderation system and reestablished the defunct official ASSM web site archive.
Today, ASSTR provides numerous services for the online erotic literature community, all of which are available to the public at no cost. Some of those services include homepages for over 800 authors and hosting for several collections. Some of those collections include the famous Kristen's Collection and Ol' Joe's Collection. ASSTR is the exclusive host of the Erotic Mind Control Stories Archives (MCStories.com) and provides a one-of-a-kind FTP mirror site for Nifty.org as well as a web site mirror. As mentioned above, ASSTR oversees moderation of the alt.sex.stories.moderated newsgroup, providing archival service and the web-based moderation system.
ASSTR's administration was successful in establishing the non-profit corporation, and today ASSTR is a project of Internet Free Literature Corporation, a 501(c)(3) U.S. non-profit organization. As such, all donations to ASSTR are tax deductible to the maximum extent allowed by law.
Up to this point, enough funds have been collected to enable ASSTR to continue providing its services. However, for ASSTR to continue doing so for years to come, the administration needs your help.
Current operating costs are $800 per month for Internet service, in addition to periodic legal fees and hardware maintenance and upgrades. None of your donations go to pay the volunteers who maintain the site in their free time. The never-ending supply of new visitors also adds additional load on the existing equipment, requiring more bandwidth and more equipment - all of which requires funding.
If you enjoy the ASSTR site, the author sites contained within, MCStories, or the ASSM newsgroup, and can spare a little, please consider helping out. ASSTR accepts donations by credit card, cash, check, and money order). The entire online erotic literature community thanks you.