Here is an excerpt from today's letter sent to all members.
-- We've started serving third party ads through an independent advertising network to help further subsidize the costs of serving forums to the public. At this time, ads will be hidden for Lifetime Members. We are not, and do not plan to, accept advertising directly from manufacturers. This conflict of interest remains an insidious part of the outdoor industry (and consumer products as a whole), in spite of claims towards editorial integrity. I'd simply like to avoid it. We plan to test this ad network for a period of 90 days, and reevaluate at the end of that time whether the maintenance, loss of editorial space, and the humorous present of occasionally strange and goofy ads is worth the additional revenue that the ads bring in. Early results from this week do suggest that this has the potential to have a VERY positive long term impact on the financial health, and revenue diversification, of BPL, and could allow us to (1) become debt-free sooner and/or (2) reinvest the proceeds into website development initiatives.