Still feeling chatty, apparently.
I signed up for a subscription to the Straight Dope message boards. It's all of $4.95 for a year, and is something that I enjoy. I've been lurking there since 2000, so I guess it was time to get active.
I find the amount of agonizing over the decision to charge a subscription fee to be pretty amazing. There's a fair amount of "the Internet is supposed to be free!" nonsense, which I find tiring. Regardless of your take on whether information itself is or should be free, or whether you're interested in sharing your opinions in a free forum, the simple fact is that the act of hosting a forum costs money. And when that forum gets a lot of traffic, it costs a lot of money. You (or the Chicago Reader, in this instance) need to decide whether you want to continue losing money or not. And if you decide not to lose money, then you need to either shut it down or find a way to generate revenue.
This simple process seems to elude a fair number of people, though.
It occurs to me that the only external link to this blog is in my signature on SDMB, so there's a significant possibility of circular reference.
So, I'm off to add my blog link to other signatures. And to give some money to Ars Technica while I'm at it, as long as I'm giving money to web sites I frequent.