My responses and opinions. Please give me a fair shake. There is no alterior motive here, so don't chew my head off.
COM vs ORG
I made a conscious decison to use dot com, not for the COMmerce but because people on the whole are still used to typing dot com at the end of everything. I do not plan to go IPO or make any kind of money (profit) on the site. At the time I was only willing to spend money on one domain name (well two, with the alternate cashing spelling). GPSstash.org was not an option as GPSstash.com was registered by someone else. I didn't want to confuse people with two owners of two sites when they dropped the .org
I have been building sites for a while now and understand a lot about how people surf the web. Dot Com is best understood so I went that way. There was no secret plan to dominate the universe or anything. No need to demonize me as bourgeois (read: capitalist pig).
ADs and making Moolah (cash$)
If anyone out there has ever had advertising on a site, they realize that a site with even a million pageviews a month won't make that much in revenue.
I've already spent a lot of time designing the site, working on the database, and adding functionality. I do this because I like to work on "cool tech" things, and this is an outlet for some experimentation. There is no alterior motive. Whatever I get in ad revenue (which I haven't made a dime yet, by the way), helps me pay for the domain name registration, and new tech for the web site. There is no business here.
I will be honest and say from the outset that I considered ways to make money from geocaching. There is none (It's a hobby!). Advertising will never be enough to cover the expenses of creating the site. I don't expect anyone to pay for anything. I do not receive revenue for people looking at the banner (go to Linkshare.com to see how it works). Any money I do get will be if someone purchases a product from that company. So if you don't like the advertising, don't click on the link and buy anything.
I think I'll modify the REI ad. The flashing text really bugs me.
So far I've registered geocaching.com, geocaching.org, geocashing.com, geocashing.org. At around 35 bucks a pop, it starts to get downright expensive. I also own SQL Server 7, Windows NT, currently an ADSL line (and future colocation expense), Visual InterDev, and a Dell Server that is (right now) solely used to host the site. Overall I've spent around $5k on Geocaching. I'm not telling you this as a "poor me," but as an indication to my commitment to the project. To recoop my cost, you geocachers would have to buy $490,000 in product (from my web site) to REI. That's a lot of tents.
Seems that I opened a can of worms on this one. I was unaware of the fact that people were so protective of their clues to letterboxes. I do not have enough time to debate any more with the letterbox.org folks. Perhaps when I have more time we can have an objective (and friendly) conversation. For now I'll just provide a link to their web site.
I pledge to the geocaching group that any and all monies received for the site will go back into the project to enhance features to the game (and hopefully make it more interesting). Geocaching is a new sport, and in my opinion, has a lot of room for creativity. I always enjoy receiving constructive feedback from the group, and recommendations for improvement are great!