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    Announcement Google Ad-sense helps pay the bills and keep the lights on ...

    Hello folks …

    We've finally completed our testing of Ad-sense advertisements produced by "Google", which has been on-going since April, 2010 ....

    Google Ad-sense is used by thousands of web sites across the Internet and the content becomes more focused over time, so for example in our case, as Google's advertisement algorithm gets smarter analyzing our site, you should generally see ads just about guns and gun related businesses and topics, or ads related to the specific geographic region you are connecting from.

    Google ads (provided by them and not us !!) appear as 728x90 or 468x60 boxes just after every second post on each thread in the forums, embedded randomly somewhere within the content of any current last post being viewed, at the bottom of the primary forum home screen view, at the bottom of any forum thread listing, at the top of the member's public profile page and finally, just above the quick reply box or embedded above the advanced reply box for posts. Currently, those are the ONLY places they will be noticed and further, they ONLY appear to those of you who are Registered Members using the web site for FREE. It should be noted, that Goggle Ad-sense banners DO NOT appear for the Advisory Panel or a Contributing Member, both of which are member groups who graciously donate their time and/or financial support, to help my wife and I operate this site. Donations are purely voluntary and regardless, everyone is entitled to use the site absolutely free, just by registering. Google Adsense ads DO appear to all member levels within the special Google Custom Search box (see top right corner of web site under regular search function), which is currently configured to provide full Google search capability within our own site here at milsurps.com. Sorry, but limiting those ads to just FREE Registered members ONLY is beyond our internal control, since it's a FREE service provided by Google itself, which quite frankly, I find excellent for finding topical content on our site. Try it!


    Why are we using Google Ad-sense banners?

    It costs between $10,000 - $15,000 per year to program, operate the hardware and software, as well as maintain the high performance bandwidth needed to give all our members a first class web site experience. Our operating costs are growing annually, but our revenues to balance the books are not. Last year (2009) particularly, was a time of extra costs over and above the norm. We had to migrate to a new and more powerful computer server to host the site, which provides far superior performance under load and higher storage capacity for all of the membership for many years to come. In addition, we provided a temporary home for Dick and Gloria Culver's Joustericon community between March and August of 2009, spearheading a fundraising campaign to help them get back on their feet and re-open a new site, into which we personally contributed over $1,500 of the almost $8,000 raised that was forwarded to them.

    Even huge gun sites such as Gunboards, who do receive large sums of money from formal sponsorships by gun related businesses, are indicating they are experiencing problems maintaining their sites. Vic, who owns Gunboards posted a personal plea for donations from users, indicating that they were experiencing a 20-30% operating deficit, in spite of large amounts of revenue from their formal commercial sponsorships. He implied that if things didn't improve in his cost versus revenue model, he may be forced to take other measures. Since we highly value Gunboards and Vic's contributions to our collector community, we personally sent him $50 to become a "Gold Bullet Member".

    So, to make a long story short and having completed the Google Ad-sense testing phase, we are definitely seeing a clear monetary return towards helping to defray costs and therefore they are becoming a permanent addition to the site, as seen only by Registered Members who enjoy free site usage. Remember, these Google ads earn money for us just by being viewed on our site, whether anyone clicks on the actual ad or not. Of course, if someone clicks on any of them, then we earn more etc.....

    All of the above discussion relates to the presentation and viewing of Google Advertisements only. Separately, we do offer direct paid-for-placement advertisements to appropriate firearms and accessory vendors, which may appear in various locations on the site, such as between posts in some threads and at the top of various forums. These paid ads are shown to ALL members regardless of status, so we ask you to appreciate those vendors who financially support us in this manner and perhaps even take the time to send them a note thanking them for that support.


    Who pays for the operating costs for this site?

    We personally pay for the lion's share of the costs, subsidized by about one hundred Contributing Members (out of 16,000+ Registered Members), each of whom donate, what works out to be on average, of about six cents per day to help us out. We sincerely thank those folks for their generosity. Unlike Gunboards, we receive very little in the way of commercial sponsorships or advertising revenue. We have no other sources of revenue to offset the operating costs mentioned, except an eBay affiliate relationship, where we earn revenue if members post links to eBay auctions and other members click on those links to look at the auction referred to. So, please don't hesitate to post links to eBay auctions for items that are appropriate to each of the forums, as they do help with revenue generation, even if members only click and view the auction and do absolutely nothing else.


    I don't like the ads, but I can't afford to donate financially to become a Contributing Member so I don't have to view them?

    Donating to the site isn't just about sending money. Some of our Contributing Members gained that status by donating their time to help us out, as an example, through writing extensive articles for the Knowledge Librariesicon, which have benefited our entire collector community.

    Over the years we've made several requests for volunteer help from the membership. We've asked for members to volunteer time to help maintain our on-line Calendar, adding world wide guns show dates and timings, as well as any other events that might be gun related and of interest to our community. We've asked for members to volunteer and donate some time to help other members through participating as operators on our on-line Live Support services. We've asked for members to volunteer and donate some time to help other members by organizing and operating scheduled chat events for the various gun forums, using our professional Members Chat Room. Unfortunately, we've had no member volunteer response to any of these latter initiatives, so there's LOTS of vacancies open for anyone who wants to step up and help us out.

    So, if you're using all of the resources of our site for free and you find having to skip over a Google advertising banners as offensive and too high a price to pay, particularly if doing so helps contribute a few bucks to help us maintain the site for everyone's benefit, please stop and think about this entire post before deciding you're being treated unfairly .

    If you would like to avoid seeing the Google ads in threads and can't afford to donate, then why not check out any of the volunteer time initiatives mentioned above and become a Contributing Member that way, complete with extra site benefits as well. If you don't have the time, but can find about six cents a day, then why not DONATE NOW and help us out directly.

    Thanks for listening …

    Regards,
    Doug
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    Last edited by Badger; 05-04-2011 at 08:20 AM.

  2. Thank You to Badger For This Useful Post:


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