Advertisement on Hungry Onion: Will we and Shall we?

Are we going to have some advertisements in the future? And shall we?
I don’t have have a strong stance.

The main reason I bought it up is that I swing by FoodTalkCentral (to check out how many of their posts are based on LA) and noticed that it has ad. placement.

I would think that would be up to the person paying the tab around here.

I was thinking about that as well. That being said, I am sure the general opinions will have an effect.

It’s a canned, free platform as far as I know…No custom enhancements. The only bills to pay are the hosting fee, domain reg and Sam’s time. Collect a buck from everyone here (is it 500 now?) and that keeps the lights on, commercial free until Sam gets tired of the admin side

Yeah. I don’t think the cost is that high now. I do agree Sampson’s time is the greatest investment (thanks Sampson).

For now, this is not problem. I am just thinking if this site grows. I suppose it is a good problem to have, right? Afterall, this is only a question if this site increases at least 3 folds in size.

I believe Sampson said he was going to be non profit with no interest in making money .

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Non-profit is not the same as non-revenue. I am aware that Sampson has stated that this is not a profit seeking site, but that does not mean it cannot have revenue. People have suggested donation and fee. Receiving donation is a form of revenue. Asking for registration fee is also a form of revenue. Maybe it won’t be “advertisement”, but it can be “sponsorship” – so my title is a bit misleading. (I do think those on FoodTalkCentral are advertisements, not sponsor banners)

According to the IRS, a qualified sponsorship payment is “any payment made by a person engaged in a trade or business for which the person will receive no substantial benefit other than the use or acknowledgement of the business name, logo, or product lines in connection with the organization’s activities.” For instance, if a nonprofit organization simply acknowledges the sponsor’s name, logo, and/or slogan, then the nonprofit organization would not have to pay tax on the income.

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Thanks for setting it straight .

good point

The combination of this site’s low ongoing operating costs, low clickthrough rate of banner ads in general and this site’s small membership base makes this form of revenue unsuitable for this site at the moment, especially when it comes at a cost of cluttering up the site. Our current operating costs are here: LA Times article about what happened to CH

Longer term financial model- we can think about it if/ when the site gets a little bigger. Unlike the early CH days, bandwidth/ storage costs have come down significantly. The site is all DIY with the software open-source and free, so the low operating costs is a strength. To maintain a good signal-to-noise ratio for this site, its very ok for this site to be smaller than CH (but larger than now), so I think the long term operating costs can still be kept quite reasonably.

With that said, since the site is DIY, users will probably have to self-serve amongst themselves more as the site scale if there are questions about how to use the site, features, etc.

One point around reg fee- at this point, I am not too big a fan because it by definition locks some people out. Its kinda like PBS locking people out if they don’t pay, it just doesn’t feel right to be not inclusive…

This reminds me that I should probably write something regularly to everyone on where we are, what we are doing with the site, etc. Have been just focused on site building and user base building…


Thanks. Let keep us updated on the cost and time constraint, and if good idea comes up.

You can look at the model that egullet uses, which is voluntary donation… almost the public radio model. There are the costs for hosting etc, but then there is also the admins time. While it is great that it is being donated currently, there is no reason why there could not be some basic compensation for the time.

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You could add a discreet PayPal and/or Google Wallet button on our profile page. That keeps it out of the way and not very plead-y.

My first HO post!


Not bad, or else we can be more inventive and send you some food related gifts :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: .

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I never had a problem with ads. Until they took over.


Welcome to Hungry Onion, @MplsMary!

Can buy an obnoxious banner ad on Chowhound instead? Clearly they are not screening them for appropriate content :smiley::smiley::stuck_out_tongue:

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So true. But Chowhound banner can be expensive. How about we let Chowhound places a banner here, so we can take some money from it?


I’m a huge advocate of AdBlocker Plus, but I disabled it here and on FTC to help the sites out.

I have to honestly say that the banner at the top and bottom of the page at FTC is quite inobstrusive, and I don’t mind its presence at all.

It’s when the ads take over most of the real estate, and popups hijack my browser, that enough is enough and I unabashedly turn on ABP.

By the way, I should also add that we are a non-profit organization/forum. So technically, we cannot accept advertisements I think. However, we can accept sponsorship and place banners.

I just thought it would be very funny for Chowhound to place a banner here, because, not only we get money from Chowhound, but that Chowhound would actually be “sponsoring” us and believing our cause.

I just thought that is funny.

Not that it would every happen of course

(it would be hell a lot more plausible for Chowhound to place an ad on FoodTalkCentral than for Chowhound to place a sponsor banner here).

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