If you see the little 'Because I'm a Whore' box to the left of the main column, you'll notice three small, square ads. Those are there because I'm a whore. Well, not all of them are explicitly there for whoring, but I'll explain.
First, there's Dogstar Games. I talk about these guys all the time, because for the last couple years, they've been hooking me up with the review copies I could never get otherwise. Dozens of the games I've reviewed at Drake's Flames have come from Dogstar, and because I'm a whore for free games, I promote the hell out of them. If it weren't for Dogstar Games, you would have been unable to read about games like Horus Heresy, Runewars, Galaxy Trucker and a whole hell of a lot more. See, the downside to all my hilarious ranting (or irritating and juvenile complaining, depending on who's reading) is that lots and lots of publishers would rather I never even had the opportunity to review their games. Because of Dogstar Games, I'm able to get the review copies I need and still be honest about how I feel about them. Most reviewers do not have that luxury, so I'm very grateful to Dogstar.
The next ad down is from Noble Knight Games. These guys have an incredible web store, with tons of stuff that's out of print or obscure. They have an awesome inventory of new stuff, and bucket loads of old stuff. Like Dogstar Games, they are there because I am a whore. They're a new sponsor, and they're setting me up with roleplaying games and CCGs when the publishers blow me off. Noble Knight got me Gamma World, which I never would have reviewed otherwise, and they hooked me up with The Burning Wheel, which I'll be reviewing in a week or so. So if you're looking for games and accessories, do me a favor and check out Noble Knight.
Finally, there's the Project Wonderful ad at the bottom of the box. That one is not there because I'm a whore. That one is there half because I'm curious, and half because I think it might have something readers might want to see. It's almost like a public service announcement, but without Erik Estrada telling you not to smoke because it makes your hair fall out.
The first reason I dropped in a Project Wonderful ad is because I was curious to see what kind of money you can earn with one of those little ad boxes. You see them all over the Internet, and they seem like an interesting concept. People are either publishers or advertisers, and they either carry ads or they sell ads (often both). You bid on these ad boxes, and there are thousands of them, possibly millions. Really impressive sites with tens of thousands of readers can make ten or fifteen bucks a day from those ad boxes. Tiny sites buried in a back corner of the Internet, like, you know, this one, are lucky to earn a penny a day. So experimentally, I've discovered that I need each person reading this site to tell about seven hundred people about Drake's Flames if I want to make more than a nickel a week.
The other thing, though, is that there are a few cool places out there in the Internet series of pipes that I would have missed. I found a soft-porn interactive comic site read by adult actresses, a few oddly fascinating online games, and a handful of interesting webcomics. That ad box is set up to let me approve or reject every ad, and so I've been able to dump anyone with an obnoxious flashing ad, slimy quasi-bankers trying to rip off people with bad credit, and a metric assload of crappy Etsy sites selling jewelry made by nerdy housewives who think they're original because they fashion earrings from bathroom tiles. If you see an ad over there, you know I've checked it out. I'm not sending you to get a free credit report or a dozen magazine subscriptions. I know who's buying my ad space, and they're always sites I think had some merit, even if that merit is being slightly amusing.
I'm not looking to add more advertisements to Drake's Flames, though I don't rule out the possibility. If you know someone who really wants to pimp something, and if it's cool, have them drop me a line. If it's a publisher who could use a little bit of promo, I'll probably run their ad for free. If it's the coolest thing since plastic miniatures, I might even make the ad myself. And if you know someone who wants to give me free games in exchange for ad space, for God's sake write me now. I mean right this second.