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For years many forums and blogs have been offered by online service companies for free as the companies made money on advertising. For example, most of the Google ads you see on nearly every one generate money for them. Some of the companies like Yahoo have started selling their own ad services.Face facts ... no one does all this for free ... buy hundreds of servers and generate online services ... web hosting, email services, blog servers, and even Yahoo. Yahoo is a multi-billion dollar service company and Google too. They made their money from what ... selling advertising and premium services.Many Bloggers and forum owners start as a hobby ... take some favorite idea or group of like minded friends and building on it. For example we started our forums Americans Living in Brazil, the Management forum, and the Brazilian Travel Club in 1999 as a hobby because we wanted to create a meeting place for other Americans or ex-pats from where ever to talk about their experiences and share with others here to.The club itself was started as personally we own a travel service and joined with other providers to offer discounts and VIP services to members.I don´t need to tell anyone the financial mess the world is in at the moment. Many members moved to Brazil in search for a means to enjoy lower costs of living or a more tranquil life style. I did too.In 1999 I had to retire from my profession as a boat captain worldwide for major oil and offshore construction companies. This is because I had a 'stroke' on board a vessel and both the doctors and the Coast Guard said I could no longer stand the 24 hour a day stress and another stroke would finish me.We had owned the travel service since 1987, and have been (still) an environmental consultant for the Brazilian agency IBAMA, but in the early 2000s I started trying to help local communities here in the semi-arid northeast. During this time I have visited, traveled and worked in most of the states in Brazil (-2). In 2005 we formed the ONG Associação ABTC-BRASIL to attempt to consolidate forces and accomplish this dream of helping others ... both my fellow immigrants and the communities we chose to live in.Some forums and Blogs are either now or considering charging fixed subscription fees ... I chose, at least for now, not to do this.The idea of donations to help support costs seemed better. In each case a member could or would pay what he felt our work was worth. To encourage this we are trying to improve the quality of the service we are offering.We chose NING to do our BLOG for the ease of use and the services they offered. And what they are trying to offer with Premium services.DonaldAmericans Living in Brazil BLOG

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