Instead of memberships, why not shares?

If free posting is going to produce superior revenue, why not offer shares to the charter members, at the same cost of renewal? With the extra income, you can defray the costs for the hardware upgrades needed for the switch. Genius, I tell ya.

My financial people have advised me that the Message Board sector is in stasis, and therefore I will not be investing as suggested by the OP.

I might be interested.

Of course, ownership would never cede authority over the board, but shareholders could receive considerations. You could have democratization; shareholders would have a vote in moderator elections (not sure if that would suck or be cool) and other board business.

Or, you could introduce more of a social networking structure. Shareholders would get a homepage, web storage and even a email address.

The p2p model wasn’t perfect, obviously, but it demonstrated the potential of this place. The demographics here are an advertisers dream.

I’m in.

Of course, if TPTB were to offer investment shares in the SDMB – either voting or non-voting – they’d have to open up the financial records.