Regarding Ars writers, Eric Berger and Beth Mole are great. Beth is especially great when they really let her loose with the wordplay.
The Egg wrote:
What are the top expenditures for a site like TR? Maybe there's a gerbil or two with connections who could get them vip pricing on hosting, or something of that sort?
Talked with Adam, have some numbers I can share and others that I can't. Essentially, hosting/administrating TR isn't so bad. We're talking about $600/mo for everything that isn't paying staff, buying hardware, or travel costs. Of those three, paying staff is by far the greatest expense. You may not know, but Adam recently started a full time job to pay his own bills and hasn't personally made any money from TR since the beginning of the year.
Simply put, there's no substitute for regular content produced by a skilled reviewer, and they don't work for free. (I work for free, but I'm a dubiously skilled TR fanboy and my content is highly irregular.) Anyway, my point is that TR has a great process and some awesome
tools for producing the content that you know and love, but the budget is a couple thousand bucks a month too low to attract a seasoned CPU/GPU reviewer to put those tools to use.
Hardware costs are also a problem, essentially it's impossible to run the business if we're not supplied with hardware to test. The ROI on purchasing hardware to review just isn't there. I'm not going to name names, but it's not hard to see that some companies don't supply hardware like they used to. That means less reviews, which means less views, and ultimately, less income, and fewer writers. It's a vicious cycle.
Arbiter Odie wrote:
Does anybody know what the digital advertising landscape looks like? Are the players being bad partners or something? I've heard they take a big cut, but I'm having a little trouble finding out the details.
Ad revenue on sites like TR is drying up. It's just not where money is being spent anymore. TR has a combination of income from ads, affiliate links, and subs. Of those three, ads still contribute the most, but not by as much as you may think. Subs are legitimately in the mix and are, IMO, the source of income with the greatest ability to help the site.
I'd like to see a big post on the front page covering this, most people probably aren't going to happen upon this thread and realize how dicey things are for TR or be aware that HardOCP is dead.
If people were aware they'd be much more likely to contribute.
I've upped my subscription as much as I can afford, and I'm sure at least a few others have after seeing this but... well, most people will never see it so the impact of telling us here will be limited.
First of all, thank you.
I don't know if there will be much of this posted on the front page. I may sneak a paragraph into Shortbread tomorrow pointing to this thread. The way I see it, the community has the tools to help TR if they see fit, but I think it has to be a grass roots thing at this point. Que será, será.