Advertising & Other 3rd Party Services
Out intent is to keep IDB clean for paying subscribers always. The clean powerful site that you see today is how IDB will remain for paying subscribers. We will add features but not fluff. No ads. No additional services that detract from quality discussion boards. Nothing to slow the site down or degrade the experience of being a paying customer.
Just fast discussion boards, great private message tools, great search tools. A full set of features in a site that's as reliable as we can make it. That's IDB.
We may, at a much later point add 3rd party ads to the site but they would only appear on the parts of the site that non-paying users would see (i.e non-paying anonymous users that can view the site but can't post messages or do PM's or search message boards). IDB is a business.
One of the main reasons to possibly include ads in parts of the site is to fuel a marketing budget. Having a larger marketing budget may enable us to improve the rate at which we add new users to the site. Doing so may make our existing discussion boards even better by adding quality contributors and breadth of experience to the existing groups. Or it may lead to new discussion groups that existing members find value in.
What do we mean by 'other 3rd party services'? We mean things like stock quote tools, news feeds, and any other information service where data comes into an IDB web page from some external electronic service. We currently have no plans to add any such services. Why? Third party tools have the potential to make a very fast, nice site act slow, sloppy, and broken. If 2/3's of a page loads into your browser and then things just hang while waiting for a 3rd party service to respond, you just made a happy customer either not happy or not a customer or both!
So, we won't do that unless the 3rd party provider adds somethign really important AND is aligned with our mantras of speed and reliability.
There are many ways to pull in 3rd party data and, if we do so, we'll only do it in ways that keep the IDB site as a rock solid performer.
The other thing about 3rd party sites is that they often require the sharing of information. It's a whole other area of issues that are mostly under the covers today here in 2012 but ... issues that will emerge as privacy battle grounds over the next 5 years -- the advertisers, e-commerce shops, and search engines want to know much more about each of us than they do now. Issues will become apparent with FaceBook, Google and the cell phone providers (mainly Google again and Apple). By not engaging with 3rd party services, we protect our paying customers to the fullest and maximum extent by not getting involved in 3rd party services.
That's the word on 3rd party services and advertising.
Enjoy the site!