As you've probably noticed, the Airsoft Canada site has been going through some changes in the past couple weeks. The most noticeable change has been the server move, and as any frequent user can tell, we're still working out the kinks. What hasn't changed, though, is the fact that ASC is Canada's largest airsoft community and an internationally-recognized airsoft resource.
Airsoft Canada has historically been a venue for the sale of airsoft, by its owner. Tru and his Trumart flourished for a time, and part of his proceeds helped keep the site online. More recently, Miles/Honest John (and Carl/MadMax, for a time) had been running an awesome store called ASC Armoury, which paid for an even better server to keep ASC running fast. Unfortunately, ASC Armoury has since closed its doors, and ASC's funding has been cut short. This leads us to our next change: Miles has transferred the responsibility of keeping ASC up to Lisa and Harley/Mantelope.
You've probably noticed by now that, unlike Miles or Tru, Lisa and Harley don't operate a retail operation, so we've needed to find another funding stream. You've also probably noticed the "Ads by Google" in two distinct locations on the site, which is the method we've decided to go with to help support ASC. We're trying to keep the ads as unobtrusive as possible yet still generate revenue from them, and we don't plan to insert any other Google ads on the site.
We have a few ideas that we're going to implement in the very near future. Because we're not going to be operating our own retail operation, we're going to be making some changes to make it even easier for retailers to operate their business on ASC. In exchange for a modest fee, retailers will have unique status on the boards, including a special retailers forum that we hope will solve all the problems they have had with keeping sales threads up-to-date and replying to customer inquiries. In the same vein, the space in the top-right previously used for the ASC Armoury ad will become available publicly to any age-verified user at a reasonable cost. They will also get a larger PM inbox than the average user to account for the extra messages they send and receive.
We've also started the long-overdue task of organizing and cleaning the forums. Things are getting better already! In addition, we're bringing back the site supporter program due to popular demand. The planned benefits are a greatly increased PM box, removal of the Google ads while you're logged in, access to posting in the trash, and a few other surprises we've got up our sleeves.
We have every belief that ASC will continue to grow and prosper, and at the same time we intend to keep the signal-to-noise ratio at a maximum. ASC is known internationally because of its communal knowledge and expertise in all fields of the sport that we love. While some of the changes that are being implemented may upset a few of you, we firmly believe that ASC will benefit from every single one; if we didn't, we wouldn't be changing anything.
-Lisa and Harley
Discussion here: http://www.airsoftcanada.com/showthread.php?t=69072