rogerd - 2:24 pm on Jun 6, 2004 (gmt 0)
Except for very specialized, high-value forums, it seems like continuing to offer most forum content and features for free is essential. Forums really work only when they have a critical mass of participants, and forcing paid membership is almost certain to drop the number of participants dramatically. I don't have any stats from such a conversion, but I'm guessing that even a very popular forum would have difficulty converting more than 10% or so from free to paid. Obviously, this depends on the price and the perceived value, but just getting the member to pull out a credit card, even for a dollar or two, is a big hurdle.