mlombaard wrote:bryan, another suggestion is that you can do what wikipedia does annually to fund their operations.
let those who can pay and don't mind paying for a brilliant service do so through donations, but let it be out of their freedom of choice.
many wiki users dont donate, but there's still enough that do because they love and support the cause.
This model works for wikipedia because they have a MASSIVE userbase. I assume they are a top 10 site in the world. If only a fraction of their users donate, they can do OK. Moreover, they, as a foundation have big backers who are glad to donate millions for the purpose of spreading knowledge. Our backers do not have such deep pockets, or want to give away all their money for a ChessCube charity. A fraction of our userbase would NOT cover our costs - and if you read Mark's message, the idea of donate is covered there anyway (even if you don't care about VIP features, just buy VIP anyway - this would be a donation then)
mlombaard wrote:also, i'd like to hear your view on the suggestion made by some to cash in by selling AD-space on the site.
The ad model brings in very little money. Do you still click on ads? Moreover, again, it is a functionality of scale - if you have many millions on your site every day, then enough DO click on ads to make some money.
But there are even usability and aesthetic angles to this - from the beginning we have kept ChessCube relatively ad free (at least in terms of intrusive ads that pop-up everywhere and ads for 3rd parties). If we did something like chesspark did, for example, which was put up ads with a countdown timer in between games, people would ALSO be very annoyed with that. The point is: without users willingly paying for services, whatever we do to encourage some to do so will be very much hated by many of the community - but we simply cannot maintain the status quo and stay online, so some forms of 'annoying' monetization angles will exist - whether its charging for games or ads (and likely obnoxious full screen ones at that because, NOBODY actually pays attention to banner or sidebar ads any more).