It's TRUE! Everyone must make a living, even people who purchase a "hobby website" like railroad.net.
It's ALSO TRUE! Advertising is every where. When I watch my cable channel, I see "pop ups" about other shows.
What to do?
Bid UP! Speaking personally, I wouldn't mind paying a "fair amount" for the information obtained from these pages, the friendships that can be formed from a distance with similar interests.
So, perhaps if the board offered a "paid subscription", (as other web sites I've used), the popup ads would be removed. This way, the NEW BOARD OWNERS (oh! the Mystery)
would be able to "double dip", by selling subscriptions to the faithful, and selling ads to the hopeful, as yet unsubscribed.
Now, of course, the discussion moves to "what is a fair amount?"
Hey! Just my $00.02.