as for merch, it all boils down to how much you wanna critique consumerism in DIY, bc i dont view this as any different: selling merch you made yourself or, or hosting it up on another service with your designs
BUT merch is also not really all that viable anymore, ill agree there
more on point: if the intent of ad revenue is to self employ or run a business (including just reimbursement for time invested in projects), it isnt everyone elses burden to make the ends meet
if the intent of ad revenue is to keep something online, there are MANY workarounds to this
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