As we look to make MarkMail pay for itself, it's pretty darn obvious that the traffic the site gets is sufficient to generate some revenue from advertising. A good number of well-known developer-centric sites display ads (e.g., sourceforge.net, www.xml.com, vim.org, linux.org, many others) with varying degrees of success. It even looks like msdn.com displays ads (albeit for other MS properties). And there are also sites like Expert Exchange that charge users a premium to search their archives, while also displaying ads.
The plan is to make minor adjustments to the site layout and provide relevant ads that are meaningful to a software developer. Over time, we'll be looking to bring in ad content that is
- targeted to the list archive the developer is reading
- suitable for a library (quiet, text-only, unobtrusive)
- designed for and targeted to a developer audience
In the meantime, before we're fully set up, if you're reading this and you have something worth communicating to some of the millions of folks that end up at MarkMail, give us a holler.
PS. If you sign up for a MarkMail account, you'll have access to a switch that will enable you to opt out of the AdSense ads.