Over the last few years we were able to run Hungry Onion with not a lot of resources. That’s a point of pride for us because its a lovely little (if I may say so) site that many enjoy and we don’t have to plaster ads everywhere to fund that. The low cost model, however, has a downside which is that we don’t have the resource to do some of the things that can bring us more members and participation. And that’s important for a forum because critical mass means everything. The costs of running the site- web server, email server, CDN, etc- has been steadily increasing also with more members, readers, and page views.
No, we aren’t adding ads to the site and we don’t need them- they are distracting and unwieldy. Instead we are adding a couple of hopefully non-intrusive links to Amazon- one at the top of the page, another at the bottom. Every time you click the Amazon link and then shop there, the site gets a small ‘referral’ commission. If you already shop at Amazon regularly, all you need to do is to click that link each time you want to shop, and then do your shopping. These referral commissions, while small, do add up, and help tremendously in covering the monthly cost of running the site. If there are funds left over after covering the basic site costs, then the extra funds can be invested back into the site in the form of iOS/ Android apps, social tools, etc. that will increase members and participation.
Thanks all for your support!!