I appreciate your comments and hope you will keep sharing them. I suspect you are at one end of the spectrum, and there are people at all ends. Many other people seem to not mnd the ads and prefer them to having to make a donations.
This site has always been about trying to be reasonable and figure out a way to make a little bit of money, enough to keep working on these projects, and still keeping with core principles (see my article here: http://www.donationc...icles/One/index.html
I'm not about to allow this site to become some evil site whose only objective is to grab as much money as possible as fast as possible. The goal of this site is not to get rich; never has been, never will be. But at the same time this site was created specifically because I was spending so much time coding that I either had to stop or figure out a way to ask for a little bit of money to support my coding addiction so I wouldn't become homeless.
To tell the truth I would much rather just write free open source software if I could do so in same spirit, and not have to worry about paying rent. I envy those people in this world who have enough money that they can spend their time just working on stuff they enjoy and not have to ask for money for it. But it is what it is, so i'm trying to walk a middle roard and help along with others to make a home for those like minded people who think it's something worth supporting.
Personally, I don't like these ad things. I'd rather not run them. On the other hand, I don't find them evil and i think the way we had them in the sidebars is not so bad. I'd even go so far as to say that sometimes the context-sensitive ads could be fun and relevant, especially when we had them in the posts since they would sometimes suggest useful links.
I do find something about them troubling though - in that i don't like the idea of giving up control of what gets shown on our pages, and i don't like the idea of being a middle man advertising other people's stuff when i might not think it's worth while. It might be nicer if we got to choose what ads were displayed.. But then that raises the whole issue of whether the content of our site gets called into question because it would seem we might have a reason to say good things about advertisers.
I do happen to believe that this stuff is a corrupting influence when you start getting into big money. People just don't tend to say bad things about someone who is bankrolling them..
Anyway, i still think it's useful to experiment with things and consider different options, and i think we shouldn't be afraid to try things. When we do try it again, I hope you'll stick around long enough to help us make the decision about whether to keep them.
And let me say this also - this site is now a community site. We won't be making any decisions that go against the clear will of the active people on this forum. If you guys+gals say you don't want a certain thing or change, then we won't do it, and we will find a different way.