They're similar, but not exactly the same thing. Impressions is the number of ad units displayed, and with (for example) Adsense, you can have up to three units on a given page. So if you have (3 units) x (1 pageview), you'd really have 3 impressions.
- What it takes in terms of technical ability to both create and maintain a site.
- If you're going the pre-fab forum route, not a whole lot. Most of those applications (phpBB, vBulletin, SMF, etc) are fairly easy to configure if you can read a manual and take some educated guesses. Getting beyond that into installing some modifications takes a little bit more know-how, but it's not terribly difficult to pick up if you have any technical skill beyond starting up a computer (which I'm guessing you do, considering what you're asking).
- What options are out there in terms of discussion board software.
- phpBB and SMF (Simple Machines Forum) are both free and work decently well. If you start looking at paid forum software, I used vBulletin for the better part of a decade. If you're willing to branch out a bit and go beyond the forum, Drupal (the content management system 11W and millions of other websites are built on) offers a lot of great features that are decently easy to install (for the most part). phpBB, SMF, and Drupal are usually available through auto-installers on most shared hosting environments.
- What kind of revenue can be expected from ads / amazon links.
- Nothing, but you'll double it in six months (assuming you last that long). Google Adsense can be rather finicky, and if you can start generating decent traffic (3,000+ impressions per day), you can start generating $0.50-$1.00 a day (nothing to write home about, but at least you're no longer funding your own site, it's funding itself!). Amazon and other affiliate links are great if people click/buy, but you really need to have consistent traffic in order to make much if anything off them (it's really feast or famine with those).
- Any other general thoughts, ideas, pitfalls, etc.
- Starting a site is a big challenge, making it a success is even more difficult, but if you put the work into it and pull it off, it's very rewarding. I did it for almost a decade, and it changed my life (seriously) by giving me the work experience I needed to launch a career as a professional web developer.
- The biggest pitfall is the membership. The 11W team does a great job of keeping people engaged and keeping nasty folks out. That's the biggest challenge in running any community, online or real world, and it's your biggest obstacle between you and success.
Best of luck to you!
There's a strong tendency toward censorship in the name of "safe spaces" on college campuses, and (as much as I hate to compliment the guy), Harbaugh's right to oppose this. The whole point of college is higher learning, and learning about a world that doesn't exist (sorry, there's going to be something that offends you out in the real world, you need to learn to deal with it) does not serve that goal, especially when the tendency is to shut down all debate. Really unfortunately, I saw the same tendencies when I graduated from OSU five years ago, and this is not strictly a That State Up North problem.
With all that said, something we can all agree on, it'll be fun to watch these students who have no idea how to deal with things adverse to their worldview be forced to accept that Urban Frank Meyer is the best coach in the B1G as he rubs Harbaugh's face in the big * at midfield in Ann Arbor in 7 months and 19 days.
Otto Graham, 10 years, 10 championship games. No one has done it before or since.
Seriously, the guy is the reason for the facemask. How does he not get more play in these debates?