Let’s start at the end. Please read this thoughtful comment from Sloper Maxx2000 (as always, click on the image for a bigger and easier-to-read version):
So let’s back up some.
In recent days, I have been contemplating what, if anything, to do about my relationship with Sloper accounts (or, more bluntly, non-paying users of my site). Years ago, I made plenty of income off affiliate fees and advertising revenue from these “free” folks, but a few years back, I decided for aesthetic reasons to sanctify my site and eliminate all third-party content. Thus, the gazillion people who come to Slope and benefit from my work have paid me $0.00 over some number of years.
I enjoy what I do so much that I usually don’t let the asymmetry of this relationship bother me. Some of the Sloper accounts may argue that, indeed, the asymmetry is an illusion on my part, because they create community. It’s true, the many people here on Slope every day of the year, and every hour of the day, do create a vibrancy, and it’s a crucial part of the site. It doesn’t pay the rent, but it is, shall we say, an important non-financial asset.
In any case, I’ve mulled and ruminated about all this, and after many hours of serious thought, I’ve decided to remove Slope’s own promotion and re-introduce external ads after what has been a multi-year hiatus. I was tempted to take Maxx’s counsel and pass around the hat from time to time, but I’m going to take this approach for the time being. I appreciate his comment, and I thank you all for being part of Slope. As always, my intent is to make the site a little better every single week.