Precisely. We're not talking about Google ads here, folks. Or those g*damned animated, AADD/OCD-targeted banners.
I'm of the mindset that any advertising would be funneled through the Advisory Board to make sure whomever it is passes muster. We don't want to cheapen the value of our site.
I'm imagining tasteful sidebar tiles from absinthe ware vendors such as La Maison d'Absinthe, Absinthe Devil, etc., and other spirits and drinks brands, such as Gin, Whisky, Rum, vermouths, bitters, cocktail ware, and so on.
The companies will have to be fully vetted by the Board, which will come up with a set of strict criteria, posted in the forum for input. The ads will have to be approved as well.
The site software, not the forum, has a built-in banner server that counts displays and click-throughs. It can be set to display random ads, or a display a series in order. Advertisers can buy a number of displays, a number of clicks, or a set fee for placement on a time basis.
The ads would probably not be placed on the forum pages at all, and if there were any it would be restricted to one small banner per page. I'm dubious about them in the forum, because most ads I've seen in forums are annoying and distracting. If they could be designed and placed in such a way as to avoid that, while still getting reasonably valuable visibility for the sponsor, I may change my opinion.
I think the difference is a semantic one. What if we changed "subscription" to "serial donation"? It's largely the same thing. The two options appeal to different economic and personality types. Some who can't necessarily afford a huge chunk all at once, can easily afford a few bucks a month, but might not remember to do it regularly.
As far as the "donating" versus "subscription"....
I personally don't mind "donating" to a site, and don't expect anything in return (except maybe a Thank You), since it IS a donation. I really do not care at all for the "subscription" service. I know PayPal allows you to do that, but personally, it makes me feel as though I am obligating myself to support the site with future subscription renewals.
One advantage to subscriptions is that it helps when trying to create a budget; we can more or less count on a certain amount coming in. It was a tremendous relief for me when our subscriptions finally got up to the point where I could put the licensing and hosting on autopay on WS's paypal account.
It was my thought that the RVL would go away. Since we'll be accepting advertising under the same strict guidelines, some of the ads would essentially be replacing the RVL, only we'll be getting some of the revenue they currently generate for their beneficiaries.
I'm most curious about the coexistence of the recommended vendor's list (hereafter called RVL) and the advertisers.
Other subscribers small and large have come and gone, but you're one of the longest-standing contributors to this site, and I've always been grateful for it. I think most of us here (now, at least) are mature enough to know that everyone's circumstances are different, and one person's $10 or $20 may be much, much more valuable than another person's $500. It may not work that way when you go out to buy shit, but it works that way in my heart.Having the emblem that shows that you're a subscriber might encourage others to chip in, and I'd be cool with displaying it, but only if all subscribers got the same emblem and left it at that. It's awesome that Ron can chip in that much and I don't begrudge him that at all. However, I don't want anyone comparing my contribution to his. I'd rather people just know we're both doing what we can.
I can say that Ron's diamond brings a shred of envy that much matches my verte every time I see it...
Yeah, I know I'm really weird about that sort of shit. It comes from being educated but working a crap job. Enjoying expensive hobbies, but not being able to afford them. Wanting to do things that make an impact and not having the resources to do so.
I can relate, more than you can possibly imagine.
This will not be tolerated here, ever. Everyone who participates is chipping in. Those with economic resources sufficient to share are appreciated, but money doesn't buy status here, character and integrity do.
Honestly, I never thought too much about it until I joined forums where there are lots of subscribing members, and those who don't subscribe are treated like crap or mostly ignored. Not by the people running the forums, but by the membership. I'll see the founder say, "As a registered member, regardless of whether or not you make a donation, you have the right to complain if something isn't working correctly or if the server is really slow," yet the members will be saying, "You don't get to complain until you chip in!!!!" Of course that's not happening now but who knows, if in three years there are a whole lot more people doing so, it could become a pissing contest thing.
Weird. That should have been automatic. Fixed now. And thank you!
... patiently awaiting my measely silver pontarlier icon ...
Yes, it would be cool. It would also send a message to everyone who happens to surf by, not just members. They might not otherwise be exposed to real quality brands.
In a way, wouldn't it be pretty cool to see ads here for brands that are actually good? At crap sites and all over the internet you see so many ads for Absinth Original and KOS.
I would greatly prefer to be able to do away with subscriptions entirely. The membership shouldn't have to dig into their private resources to keep this thing going, especially when Big Liquor brands can easily drop $10,000 to $50,000 on sponsoring a weekend cocktail convention.
The reality is that the organization, its site, the planned outreach, lobbying DC for a definition, the research... these cost cash money. The more effective and far-reaching we want them to be, the more they'll cost. But they also take time, something I have less of now that I have to concentrate on getting my distilling business off the ground.
In the meantime, I'm grateful for every contribution from the membership and thank you for supporting and believing in this mission.