I figure it is about time to answer some questions here for you all.
The little green links are called Kontera and we are "testing" it out to see how much revenue we can generate from it. If it is not benificial for us to have it we will definitely get rid of it.
As every forum admin knows running a forum is not free and as the member base grows it only costs more money and then you get to the point where you can no longer add users because of the budget and capability of the servers.
This sort of advertising is mandatory on any forum in order to maintain and enhance it. The intention is not to break even on income month by month, the site needs to grow for the benefit of all members, whether it be number of users, functionality, enhancements it all costs money. We have invested in upgrading the servers, hosts, and are currently working on upgrades to the site; some you see and some are still in the works. All of this costs money and with advertisers in the mix it helps keep this site "free" for you members.
Upgrades will not happen overnight however with the new equipment we will be able to offer a lot more up to and including video hosting. Unfortunately we are not able to please everybody but we do and will continue to "try" and make "everyone" happy.
Now back to Kontera
1. Yes I agree we should have notified you that we will be trying a new advertiser. It only makes sense to keep everyone informed so I do apologise for that.
2. Yes I agree that the Kontera should not be in your signatures and personal information. We do not have a second "working" copy of the site where we can test therefore we just added the info they gave us. We will edit the script so that it is less intrusive.
3. We are throwing the idea around of building a supreme membership. There would have to be a small fee associated with this membership and off the top of my head some of the perks would be a private supreme members forum, larger avatars, larger upload capability, some promotional items (shirts?) the elimination of Kontera links, supreme member status, larger pm box... possibly an arcade section with some games to help pass the time or take a break. The list can go on and it will be up to you if and what you would like to do with this supreme membership if it is something that interests you.
4. The issue with Kontera crashing browsers is odd. I will look into it some more however if you are running old browser versions it may be time to upgrade anyway since you will eventually have problems on other sites as well. Upgrades are free
I spent most of my day today on a pc and a mac testing different browser versions and gradually upgrading. I was posting, surfing, everything and unfortunately I have not had it crash on me.
Ičve seen Kontera on many other boards that I frequent and will admit at first it was really annoying but after a while I got used to seeing the green links and at times I even highlighted them to see what it said. All we ask is that you please be supportive of the community and the decisions that are made in order to keep it all together and "free".