@Mr.Reaper, Thank you. Please do not donate more than you can or wish to afford.
A couple of reasons why I choose to keep Hitman forum ad-free.
Looking at ads, frankly, sucks. HF exists because I want to create a great place to hang out with like-minded people where we could discuss Hitman. Having to look at ads degrades the user experience of the forum.
The particular ads that our network (projectwonderful.com) served were not relevant to the Hitman audience. It was serving stuff like ads for jewlery and webcomics. Those are not relevant (and because of that, by extension, they generate very low revenue)
Also, I think ads are in a way “immoral”.
Most of the advertising revenue would come from the hundreds of people without accounts (noobs) who drop in every day looking for a review or a walkthrough. That’s because they simply represent most of the traffic. They would look at one or two pages, then leave HF.
Yet the people who visit HF every day, the people for whom I created this site, would be forced to look at the advertisement every day. The ads would be disproportionally annoying to those visitors who are most important to the forum.
I think that is just wrong.
A lot of people use ad-blocker these days. Especially the audience of Hitmanforum which is relatively young and tech-savvy. The use of adblockers will only spread in the future.
Because of this feature, technically speaking, HF appears to have fewer pageviews than other forums (because everything is one big page), which is bad for revenue in some advertising models and rules out some advertising partners.
There are plug-ins for Discourse which enable it to use Google Adsense ads, which I have used before.
And so I tried that. It served slightly more relevant ads, but then Google Adsense decided to blacklist Hitmanforum. They do not wish their advertisers to be associated with some of our content (like the ‘[most beautiful woman]’) thread in our archives and requested to enforce censorship (which I refused to do).