Hey, can we talk?
We started RMNB in 2009 on a lark. Ian and I liked hockey a lot, and we liked making stuff and sharing it with the Internet, so we thought we could have some fun.
Mission accomplished. RMNB has been tons of fun. We’ve published about 3000 stories for about 3 million readers, and we are pleased beyond words about that. We never expected this level of success. We also also didn’t expect how much work it would be.
Among the whole team, we’ve spent somewhere around 15,000 hours (maybe more) working on RMNB. We’ve spent our own money on hosting and equipment and travel and giveaways and translations. We’ve made a little money off of t-shirts, but we’re deeply, deeply in the red.
To make RMNB sustainable, we need to generate enough revenue to offset our costs. To make RMNB rewarding for our contributors, we’ve got to compensate them. To make RMNB a disgustingly rich multinational multimedia conglomerate that can throw decadent parties and give away crazy swag, we’ve got to start selling advertisements.
Selling advertisements will allow us to reinvest into RMNB, upgrading our tech (you don’t even wanna see the old computers we’re using) and ultimately make better content for you– more often and faster.
So here’s what that would mean: We would put one ad zone at the bottom of articles. Maybe a second one somewhere on the homepage. We would NOT replace our lovely background image with an Old Spice ad or load up every page with three banners just to inflate impression counts. We want to do this right and in the least smarmy way we can manage. We don’t want to write advertorials or change the things that made this fun in the first place. We just want to make it last and thrive.
So we’ll be introducing ads in the coming days. We’ll be experimenting at first, figuring out how to do this right, so please bear with us.
We want to hear what you think. RMNB is a community as much as it is a website. As much as we’re excited to take a new step, we’re also a bit worried about spoiling the fun. If you think this is the wrong move for us, let us know. If you ever see an ad on the site that you don’t like, let us know. If you’ve got a better idea for us not to die alone and in poverty because of RMNB, please please let us know.
And thank you for reading.