I've noticed the Support Ads that are now gracing our pages in place of the chat. I've never had the pleasure of talking to Brother Richard (I hear he's nice
) but if I did, I'd make a suggestion, borrowed from one of my favorite authors and also from my time at different communities on the web.
First, I miss the chat feature, but that may be that it just needs work, like the photos section. Hopefully these things will come back. I understand the huge undertaking that starting a website such as this is. So, especially since it's free and new, I don't mind that things are a bit wonky at times.
So, Robert Heinlein, a fellow atheist wrote TANSTAAFL, which means There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. It's very true. Even if you think it's free, it's not. There's a cost to it. It might not be money out of pocket, but you'll pay in some fashion. I have no problem with paying for A|N. It's not easy to come up with money, but for something that makes my life happier and better, I'll do it.
I tried myspace, that seething pit of ads and vacuity, and soon left in utter disgust. Nothing turns me off faster than flash ads, and sound. Ugh, don't get me started. That's just torture.
But, what if A|N did something like basic membership is totally free, but you'll have ads. Tasteful and small, but they'll be there. Then the people who pay don't get ads. And maybe they get things a bit cooler, more features or something.
Of course, I have no idea how the Ning network operates or anything, but it seems like a working solution. I just don't like being asked for money. Even once you give, it never ends. Like some huge organization asks for a donation, then calls and sends fliers every 2 days until I can't stand it anymore and tell them to get stuffed.
I'd rather pay a yearly membership and be done with the ads. I don't know if A|N is ready for that or could even handle it, but I think it would be a great solution for everyone. Pay and be ad-free, or get the basic free membership with ads.
Anyway, so far Atheist Nexus is awesome and I love it here. Everyone is friendly and nice and it's a great place to hang out.