Websites have get income somehow or they will eventually go lights out. Hosting, maintenance, and electrcity are not free. Ads have been the dominate way but unless increased costs are significant I could see the majority of users preferring computing networks like Tidbit.
Hi, same AC here (I tried to make an account but no password has been emailed yet).
I understand the costs associated with running a website. But the issue is the hidden fee that the visitor is forced to pay, either through ads, by mining for virtual currency or by sending spam (the next logical step). It seems like a very inefficient way to make money: you provide content, but have to use a complex system to get paid for the content. Ads have to be created, electricity has to be used to mine for virtual currency, data has to be used to transfer all of this - all at the cost to the visitor. Why not just charge the visitor a fee and be done with it? Why hide the fee behind a complicated system? Do we really need a middle man - or several - to achieve this?
I could see a site charging a fee as an option that disables ads and mining but not as the only option. In most cases if you create a site that has fees as its only way of membership, someone else will probably come along with a nearly equivalent "free" version that a majority of potential users will go to instead. It is a lot easier to get people to try/use something when it is "free".
You make it sound like paying a fee is less complex or cumbersome than looking at an ad or running some virtual currency mining scripts. It's not.
Maybe the world-wide-web Internet was designed wrong and a peering model is a better approach.