I'll try to somewhat answer mplant1's question.
From any subscription made through Paypal 74 cents goes to them.
They won't let us use their website to transfer money to and from one another free.
I suppose they have some costs associated with running that website and probably have some people that spend some of their own time keeping it running.
A website like youtube is completely free, although the guys that started it sold it for oodles of money, and I don't think they cared if it remained free or not.
CLF does have costs to run a server.
While costs are not out of this world and the administrators keep watch to find the most reasonable and reliable way to keep the site up and running, the costs are more than the figure mplant1 mentioned.
Now, nobody has a gun to my head nor any of the moderators to do what we do.
However, we do each have a life like anyone else that visits CLF.
If there is something regarding the site that needs to be dealt with we take the time to do it.
For instance, we had a problem come up recently with the mail system.
If someone clicked on the help email link, their email was returned to them as undeliverable.
The same was true for other email links associated with Chicagolandfishing.com
When problems come up, either by us catching them or by someone bringing it to our attention, someone has to fix it.
If CLF is to continue we don't get to say we'll get to it a month from now.
I like fishing but to hopefully bring some fun to CLF I'll take the time (for instance) to spend time with Kevin Geary at the All Canada show.
I'll sit with him for the entire evening.
Sure, it's nice, but then again to not go to the show like everyone else so that we have a good relationship with him and get a couple free trips is worth it, I think.
Ok, we raffle off the trips to earn revenue for CLF.
If someone else wants to do it every year for everyone else's sake, let me know.
If someone else wants to put together the salmon derby and arrange for prizes, do the weigh-in (if fish are caught LOL) and so on, let me know.
The same goes for the ice fishing derby.
If prizes have to be bought (out of your own pocket) be prepared to do it.
Then hopefully enough raffle tickets are sold to repay you.
I suppose we could use CLF money for gas to get to these places or buy the prizes but if every penny of a subscription fee was already accounted for we wouldn't have that option.
Yes, the moderators can have a banner to show appreciation for what they do.
And yes, I do earn some money from CLF for the time I put into it.
I make no apologies for that.
I guarantee you it is nowhere near what just about everyone thinks though.
If there are those (and I'm sure there are many) that haven't read the history of CLF they can click on the logo at the top of the page and read our mission statement which includes a brief history.
On our subscription information page...
... it says...
If you feel like you want to subscribe to the site we think it is important that you should ask yourself what value the site has brought to you personally.
This year ( May 5th) we will celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the website's existance.
As the site grows someone has had to watch over things so that we're not left dead in the water and have to close down.
Shortly after CLF came into being someone posted that if I was doing this for free I must be a few beers short of a six pack.
Well, no, I'm not doing it for free but then again I'm not getting rich either.
Hopefully CLF will continue for everyone after I'm gone, I'm sure people will continue to fish in the Chicagoland area.
In order for that to happen running CLF will have to be something someone sees as a worthwhile venture, however, it will also have to be someone that sees it as a way to return to the sport (I forget the outcome of that thread, can we call it a sport
Without that feeling someone will look at CLF and see the traffic and what they can do with that traffic.
We try to listen to what the anglers want and adjust the website accordingly.
To that end we'll keep going on.
We haven't made subscriptions mandatory.
I'm happy about that because let's face it, there are those that can't afford it.
Then again I've seen posts from people telling about how they just spent $300 at BPS but don't support a website that gave them the opportunity to make that post or get suggestions on what they should buy.