Just a question for the sake of curiosity here, but how much money would you have to charge your members for access to Gamedev.net to eliminate the need for the ads on the pages? I don''t want to start any flame wars or controversy here. I''m not promoting that Gamedev.net abandon it''s free access nature by any means. I will say that the ads on Gamedev.net, Gamasutra, and many other sites I visit have been consistently frustrating and annoying, to say the least. Sometimes I wait minutes for the ads to load BEFORE even reaching the point where the page itself actually starts loading. Sometimes the connection to the ad server times out, bringing up the Connection lost page and blowing away the whole real page I was viewing. It takes up bandwidth that I don''t really have to give. They''re always at the top of the page. I have yet to view a single ad on any of the pages I''ve been to. (I simply haven''t seen an ad I have any interest in) Maybe they''re a necessary evil. Maybe there''s nothing we can do to get rid of them. Maybe I''m the only one that has a problem with them. Bottom line though, the one thing that most interferes with my browsing of the web in general is advertisements. It''s more interfering then all other potential interferences combined (including my girlfriend... j/k, my girlfriend is NEVER an interference. No, seriously. I mean it. Jen... where ya going? Ah damn, I''ve done it again.) Anyways, what sort of subscription fee are we looking at here, hypothetically speaking? I understand that even a few dollars a month would be a problem when I take into consideration all the various sites I go to on a regular occasion. I just wish there was something reasonable we could do to get rid of this annoyance (assuming of course that I''m not the only person in this world that finds them such an annoyance) I hope I haven''t jerked anyones strings with this line of thought. I''m just putting my thoughts on the table for others to comment on, and to see how others feel about the issue, or lack thereof.
Myself, I actually like seeing the ads, and even click on them every now and then. Of course I wish there would be new ones more often. I can only stare at the green and black playstation 2 developers ad for so long.
But, if it really bothers you that much, you have a couple options. 1) Turn off the load images option on your browser. Most browsers still let you click on the place where the image goes in case you do still want to see the image. 2) Install a packet filter between yourself and the internet, block all traffic from ad0.cyberpreps.com. 3) Install a smart proxy server, and have it block all queries to ad0.cyberpreps.com. 4) Stop visiting sites with ads.
I don''t think charging for membership is even remotely an option. Besides the messiness involved with actually getting the membership fees, it would effectively exclude a large percentage of our audience. There are a significant number of people that come here that are under 18, and about one-fourth come from outside of the US, so those people would have a hard time paying for their memberships.
We know that there is a problem with the ad server timing out, and we''re working on a solution to it. We''d like to have more ads targeted specifically at game developers, since I think that would be more beneficial to everyone.
I wish we could run this site without any kind of income, but it just wouldn''t be realistic. Server costs alone can be staggering, but there are other costs involved as well. One of the biggest is the time we all spend working on the site. Up to this point, our efforts have been almost entirely without compensation (which is fine, because we all do this because we love it, and I''d personally do it even if I never expected to see a dime from it). However, many of us would like to work on the site full-time, and since we don''t want to charge our members, ads are the best way we can do that. (We COULD do it for free, but I think my kids would be sad with no food, no clothes, and no home ).