Slashdot has a discussion thread going about an Australian magazine’s decision to charge its users an annual fee to post in the forums – if they aren’t magazine subscribers.
The decision, as you can imagine, sent the netizens into a frezy because – as the SD thread points out – the magazine is charging the people who created the community a fee to be in the community.
That strikes me as an amazingly shortsighted decision for two reasons:
1) Media is rapidly moving from atoms to bits (thank you Mr. Negroponte), and creating an atom-based business model is a mistake for future revenues.
2) The magazine should already be making money off the community – either through advertising and page views, sponsorships, or subscriptions. They are, in essence, double charging their most loyal folks.