I don't know how many of you noticed the recent link which says "Contribute to Aikiweb"
If you haven't, it's quite understandable, because it doesn't seem to be anywhere on the front page.
I don't see any large letters or fancy graphics screaming in your face "Pay $$ now because this server costs me money !", and its probably due to the modesty of the creator of this site.
Other sites of similar nature (that is, sites providing online forums for a certain type of community), are far less subtle in advertising their new "Subscriber options".
This is happening because, after the Internet bubble burst, it became nearly impossible for websites of less-than-astronomical popularity to generate revenue from advertising in order to pay for themselves.
Yes, there are still some "astronomically popular" megasites left which have so much traffic, that even despite the miserable pay per-ad, they can still get by just by spamming their every page with third-party advertisements. These sites look like a colorful flashing trashcan, but in exchange they can get by without charging their subscribers.
Some of these sites came up with some imaginative options to earn money, for example, allowing you to change another user's avatar for a nice little pay.
This kind of business, however, would be out of place on a forum which is not
entirely populated by malicious teenagers, such as Aikiweb.
I'm posting this thread because I realized something.
A couple of weeks ago I went to see Van Helsing
and ended up paying for 2 hours of being spit in the face.
After this experience I was very intent on finding the director Stephen Sommers and taking my money back from him personally.
2 hours. Aikiweb's "Contributing member" option asks a sum of money not significantly higher than that what you would spend on a 2-hour movie ticket (which you may as well regret buying), but, in this case, it pays for one year of entertainment.
I know I've derived many hours of entertainment on this site, taking cheap shots at people and starting flamewars.
It would be a shame if this profound experience would go away.
If you feel the same way, please consider contributing to Aikiweb