New Site Feedback

I have received feedback from a few sources about the changes being implemented on OCMS.  Some of the feedback is positive, some negative, and I wanted to give you the chance to sound off about what you like or hate about the changes so far (and the changes to come).

 
Before I took the reigns, OCModShop’s ranking in the community had dropped to being almost non-existant.  I have implemented features that have increased traffic nearly 35% a month, and are continuing to grow.  The interest in all of the changes it to attract more readers to our site, and is working – within the past few months we have experienced consistantly higher traffic. 
 
So onto the issues.  What do you think about the advertising?  Running OCMS costs money, and without making some money OCMS will shut down.  Is the advertising too intrusive?  What ads (if any) cross the line or turn you off?  Are the ads helpful (giving you more information about a product or allow you to buy something when mentioned in an article)?
 
What about the product models?  Do you want to see more variety, or less of the models?  From the information I have gathered, it appears that the more conservative crowd feels that adding girls to the articles cheapens our reputation (I didn’t even know we had one) and is turning some faithful readers off.  The more liberal and younger crowd seems to like them, and wants to see more of them.  Implementing the models is an experiment, and has always been an effective marketing strategy in nearly every consumer industry. 
 
If models were not effective, then why does everyone drool over the “booth babes” at every computer convention?  Using women doesn’t seem to “cheapen” the companies who populate Comdex, E3, and CES.  All computer hobby websites (OCMS included) are not news sites – they are entertainment sites.  Should models be limited to articles only the younger crowd go to (gaming)?  I have heard myself being compared to 3dGameMan, but is that positive or negative, and why?  What is it about implementing models that upsets some people, and do they just need to loosen up?
 
Implementing a more colorful angle to our articles has definately attracted more readers, but how much is too much?  Are some of the articles over the top?  We received alot of buzz about our new editorials, so I have been pushing this, as they generate alot of traffic, but have they gone too far (or not far enough)?  Do OCMS’s readers only want straight reviews and articles, or commentary on the digital lifestyle?  We will attract a whole new crowd by providing gaming news, photography news and other tech industry content…. but what happens when you get all of these people in the same room?
 
OCMS will not survive if we continue doing what we have been doing, and we have experienced only mild success in the past.  I still have no gauge of the ratio of people who love the changes vs. those who hate it.  I’m not trying to alienate our past crowd but increase our reader base.  I’ve been trying new things and am learning what works and what doesn’t.  Things that don’t work will be removed, and things that do will be enhanced.
 
What new features would you like to see?  What should be removed?  Please provide direct and candid feedback, and I am taking every opinion seriously.
Alan is a web architect, stand-up comedian, and your friendly neighborhood Grammar Nazi. You can stalk him on the Interwebs via Google+, Facebook and follow his ass on Twitter @ocmodshop.