Finn dAbuzz wrote:
The second I hit "reply," I realized it was unfair to question Robert on this issue.
This is how he makes his living.
That's not why it's unfair to address it to me. One reason is because nobody makes a living off able2know (it has made less than it has cost). I make a living off our other businesses (we operate one of the largest nursing job boards and other nursing sites), able2know represents 1/50th the company revenue and about 3/4ths the server cost to my company and that is before any human resources for it are factored in (the majority of which is just donated).
A2k is a hobby. It's a hobby I think will one day be the core of a lot of our other ventures but the way we approach it is that we need to do other things for profit so that we can so a2k for fun (and not have to prioritize profit).
Right now a2k is stagnant because we need to focus on the profit centers of our business, but once we can safely afford to pay ourselves to work on what we want a2k is going to get another big overhaul.
Anyway, the actual reason it's unfair to address this to me because I am not a person who decides what is and what is not popular. The membership is, and you shouldn't marvel that left-leaning perspectives are more popular than right-leaning ones.
The forum is predominately left-wing.
It makes good business sense to feature patently left-wing threads as "Popular."
"Popular" is just the highest voted threads, there is no manual intervention on the behalf of anyone on the site (other than their own votes, of course).
Presumably, his income is based on # of "hits" since we pay no fee, and since most of the A2K "hits" are left-wing, that's the audience he has to serve.
It's just based on votes. Now I finally get why you keep addressing this question to me, but I can assure you that for the most part I'm just crazy busy on my nursing businesses and don't even tend to read a2k, much less decide on the popular threads. Nobody does, almost everything that happens on the site is community-driven and we try to make the manual intervention are rare as possible (because the site can't afford HR resources, and must rely on the community to run itself as much as possible).
Does anyone know where I can find a forum that requires members to pay a fee?
The most similar one I know of to a2k that tried that was the straight dope site's forums. They couldn't handle the server costs and went paywall. But right now it seems open again (not sure, not willing to poke around too much) and you can see it here:
Pay-only forums are pretty rare, and don't tend to succeed as well as open ones (so they tend to be smaller, or take down their paywall).