Dropping ad dependency

As you probably know, Allpar runs ads to generate revenue so I can work on it (and have a nice fast server) instead of doing endless surveys and flying around the country doing consulting gigs.

upgrades

There have been complaints about the ads for years, and I agree and would like to have fewer of them. As you may remember, some years ago, we had a single banner per page, and it was enough. But ad rates have fallen, ad-blockers have gotten more popular, and we’ve had to overdo it to keep the doors open.

So what do you think we should do? Run constant Wikipedia-style “please please donate” campaigns, keeping in mind that they are huge and can do it that way? Work very hard to find an ad salesman who can find a sponsor (taking one third to one half the money is, I believe, the usual cut)? Sell out to a big company?

We already have a contributions system but some say it’s inconvenient, since it requires starting a forum registration. Should I be trying to set up a system that doesn’t require this? (It will require time and possibly money.)

I’m open to ideas.