i really appreciate the kind words and understanding of you all who realize that this is a large website with large bills. our monthly expenditures for servers, backups, upgrades etc, bandwidth charges, tech support, email servers, etc... all of which are not cheap, i've been running this site for going on 8 years, never asked a member for a dime of support until we started the premium member program a few months back. i truly do appreciate all the premium members who have contributed.
sites that survive on advertising alone are far and few between, i've been successful and keeping a fairly low overhead, but online ad spending/revenue is slowing down in general. i thought that this would be a way to help cost of the servers, and at the same time allow the members of the site an opportunity to contribute to the site that they enjoy.
nearly 1/3 of all the bandwidth charges we pay each month come from these two non-nursing forums. a big portion of the servers processing power is used for these forums, they are popular forums, but they are not nursing related.
when i started the non-nursing forums, i was hesitant, because i didn't want the financial resources of company to be funding non-nursing related off-topic discussions. this is what has happened. which is why i finally made the decision to put them in the premium forums? my mindset was that, if you want to discuss non-nursing content, those members who get their enjoyment, support etc... from the forums to help ease the burden of the cost that they are bringing, some of you may think i am wrong for thinking that way, but that was my mindset. i'd rather not even consider closing the forums, as many people enjoy them, myself included.
looking back at how i surprised everyone, with this, i realize now that it was a mistake; i should have warned the community of such change. i apologize, but i am human and i can admit when i make an error.
i am not a huge corporation, i am, me, myself and i, (and a bunch of great volunteer moderators and co-admins). i need to have a viable business strategy to maintain our growth and the well-being of the website and the company.
i hope this helps you all understand more about the situation. please pardon any grammatical errors, as i am a little sleep deprived at the moment