I've gotten a lot of PM's and e-mails from y'all asking about why I have one giant prominent advert. It has been somewhat interesting the polar opposite of opinions I've heard on it.
First let me just say, apologies for the poor targeting of the subject matter. Adsense's "blocking controls" has been reporting unavailable to me for over a month so I can't seem to customize it right now. I should try it in FF just in case it's scripting conflict against Vivaldi, but given Vivaldi is basically Chromium that shouldn't be a problem.
Next, a big question being asked is why waste time advertising at all if I'm only going to have one ad. I've always believed that if people aren't going to click on one ad, they're sure as shine-ola not going to click on twenty of them!
The single large skyscraper on desktop is out of the way, unobtrusive, and not horrible placement so far as heat tracking goes.
The opposite view has been the people who say "this place is going to take off, you should place another advert before the info center and in the top banner". NO!
I've watched far too many forums commit seppuku via loading so much on ads they're useless without an ad-block. Look at how MasMedia tried to intentionally kill CodingForums with so many ads Ghostery and Adblock Plus went ape-shit when visiting, and the site was effectively useless without those browser plugins. To be frank it was such a ****storm of adverts getting in the way of functionality by the end I was shocked they even had new people signing up.
Though as was discussed over there before it died, it was plain that they bought up a successful forum for the sole purpose of a quick advertising cash grab, who cared if they killed its future in the process. That's just business 101 these days. Find a success, rape it for every penny, and leave the broken battered body in bankruptcy. See Sears, K-Mart, ToysWereUs, etc, etc. Hell it's the norm for big banks now since the fed will just keep bailing them out!
At some point "investors" became "shareholders" and they figured out that for minimal "investment" risk they could bleed a company dry until it falls into insolvency for a quick three to five year payout, rather than "risk" the possible loss if they don't see long term success. There's less risk in killing a company by rape than there is in ACTUAL investment in its future.
This same attitude happens with advertising as there's this nasty self-feeding cycle as they go down the toiliet. So many forums are killing themselves with the ads, again the only way to use them in any practical sense being to run multiple adblocks and even manually kill certain scripts. See DigitalPoint where discussion outside of the marketing scammer areas is at a trickle not out of a lack of interest, but because the site is such a PITA with the inline-link spam, endless pointless ads, the heading bitching about adblock, etc, etc. Or SitePoint's effectively useless community (what pile of trash forum software are they running these days?) with the bottom popup, the inlined advert that looks more like content than their content, the top advert hocking their own garbage books, the adverts mid-thread...
Too many ads scare away users, but at the same time it's one of the few ways to have revenue to keep it afloat without begging for donations. The thing is as the userbase drops, so does advertising revenue so the knee-jerk reaction is to ad more advertisements, or make more obnoxious adverts, rather than realizing that the excessive ads are what's running people off!
For this site, the one single ad has -- in the past week -- already paid for the hosting (that I was already paying for out of pocket anyways) for the month. With one advert, with barely over 35 users and maybe 40 topics and 130 posts (last I looked).
I'm fine with that. On this site that is for the forseeable future the ONLY plans I have to place an advertisement. I'm ok with it shifting out of the way to the bottom on mobile. I'm ok with it being off to one side.
... and if you REALLY want to block it, I'm not going to be an ass and try to stop you going into the "anti block" territory. I'd prefer if you disabled blocking since all it is or will be is a single advert off to the side on desktop for helping keep the hosting in the black, but I will not come after you or penalize you if even that is too much.
But then I know how to host a forums with 1.5 million posts and 100+ active users AT ONCE out of 10K members on as little as a dedicated 1.5ghz P3 with a gig of RAM. It's called picking a lean forum software like SMF, optimizing the memory usage, and cutting the markup and scripting down to proper practices. That last part is a WIP planned for when SMF 2.1 hits final.. Needless to say the 2 cores and 2 gigs this VPS slices off a 2.1ghz skylake Silver 4116 is overkill to the task.
I do not see or plan on seeing the hosting capacity issues other places complain about. Probably because I know where to make the cuts in the existing software vs. just throwing more code at it with trash like Varnish or "cloud hosting for nothing".
Anyways, don't plan on seeing that ad bar go away, don't plan on seeing more ads on any pages, and stop contacting me trying to pay me to put your ads up on this site. This is it, the be-all end-all of on site advertising for revenue, right there top-right (on desktop) for at least two or three years. I won't begrudge you blocking it, but I'd PREFER if you didn't just as it is the ONLY planned revenue stream for this site.