I received this message via a PM from a member today. They've been a contributing member here for at least two years, so it isn't just a random person sending me a PM who hasn't been here long enough to get the feel for the place. I won't provide the screen name out of respect for the privacy of the member who sent it to me but I do think they have a valid point.
PM removed due to request of member.
To begin with, the goal of this community never has been to generate cash flow for me but rather to have a place to preserve/protect the 2A in NY as well as provide a place for firearm enthusiasts in NY to gather to have discussions, help others, etc. without having to deal with a lot of the immaturity or cliques seen on other forums.
I think (at least to my knowledge) that this is the only forum that doesn't require vendors/commercial entities to pay to advertise or promote their products/services.
I don't want this community to become like other forums where you are basically given the ultimatum to "pay us for advertising if you want to be a member here or GTFO", but there are definitely commercial entities on the forum who post their info here and then offer nothing else in terms of content to the community.
Basically what I'm looking for is how we should go about handling this. I think it is a choice that should be made by the community as a whole rather than just myself or the other site staff.
Should we start requiring commercial entities to pay a small advertising fee on a monthly or annual basis? The funds could be used to cover hosting fees, advertising to increase membership, etc. and any excess could be used to cover the expense of hosting an annual forum meet and greet and some type of casual shooting event.
Or does it not bother you if a commercial entity wants to post about their organization's offerings on the forum and then doesn't contribute in any part to the community?
If you have an opinion or recommendation please let us know. I know I would like input from more than just myself and the member who took their time to express their opinion on the subject. User feedback has a lot to do with how we manage and run this forum so any input is appreciated.