Wodan wrote: ↑
From a corporate point of view I think purchasing GH and running the site even ad free and with ZERO active influencing might even be the best thing to do. I don't blame companies or people for trying to buy GH because I think it is a very smart business decision. Capitalism gives me a raging hardon and everyone is just trying to play their cards right. In this part of the game we're the cattle and I am telling everyone of be aware of what's going on.
I agree with the entirety of your post, as well as the one you wrote earlier - although I may potentially be playing devil's advocate, I feel like if the extent of the repercussions we (the community) suffer are mild influencing and a mild sense of gratitude, that's really not the worst thing in the world especially considering Zeal already has a large portion of the community wrapped around his finger despite the (arguably?) overpriced tags on the goods he sells, though I know owning a place like Geekhack would multiply that exponentially due to the massive exposure.
People on GH and through some slacks etc I'm in seem to be worried that if a vendor buys the site they'll just overshadow everyone else, having the power to discredit/put down competition as they see fit. I find this entirely deranged, personally, as I firmly believe that from a business stand point they stand to lose a fuck ton more from doing that than they would be to stand to gain if they were to intentionally override competitors due to the nature and size of our hobby. Your comment about the community's sense of owing them for what they've done, or just the visual/subconscious influence of knowing the site they frequent is owned by x or y is far greater and a definite sure-shot to happen, and I'm sure Zeal (and other prospect buyers) is perfectly aware of everything both you and I have written down here.
It really heavily depends on who the Chinese company/entity are and what their intent is, so I guess we hope for the best. What I personally care for with Geekhack is the Interest Check/Group Buy thread dynamic - I care for the fact that there can be threads like DCS Toxic that have been running for like 4 years and that were bumped 2 hours ago with relevant information, I care for the fact that there's an old-school forum structure that greatly benefits discussion during ICs (which is horrendous on reddit for example, imo) facilitating back and forth, etc.
That's what I'm personally wary of losing, and whilst I'm fairly certain that'd not happen if someone like Zeal were to buy it, maybe it won't either if it's the Chinese. The best outcome would be for Mav to give the site to Hoff (or a larger portion of the community) for example and just set up a Patreon - which in my opinion with reasonable/smart marketing and exposure would EASILY pay for the $300 or whatever it is he pays for the outdated and overpriced hosting service - but with 100gs in play at this point, which is what was insinuated, I don't think anyone can fault Mav for "selling out".