One of these days I will delete my account in a largish music community where I have been an active member for three years. The deal breaker? They are going to charge me money for using their service. A very moderate amount, but it's the principle.
I will not be going deeply into a discussion about the general fairness in such a business decision, but from a strictly personal angle I see it like this: No more free music from them, so no more free community building contributions from me to monetize.
Gone will be my 4000+ library of exceptionally diverse artists for others to see and to choose as a radio station.
Gone will be my list of 1000+ loved tracks.
Gone will be my list of 600+ tags, added to thousands of artists.
Gone will be my blog that some considered to be rather good.
Just because they considered it a necessity to charge me 3 Euro a month.
I know that they need to pay their artists. Being the father of a son who is dependent on people actually paying for the books that his mother writes, I have a profound understanding for that aspect.
I also know that theirs is a professional website and they have employees to pay wages. Being a webmaster myself, I am skeptical of the entire idea of the free ride on the web.
But, I have been a community building member, and now they want to demand money of me for using the service that I have contributed to improve so that they could better monetize it. For me, the deal breaks here.
How do the community owners in this community handle the balance between monetizing their communities and avoiding to estrange those very members who helped build them?