An analysis of Reddit's community premium model, Reddit Gold offers a classic case study in ways your stewardship may advance value to your members. As the website states, "Reddit Gold adds shiny extra features to your account that are made possible thanks to support from people like you." But Reddit's CEO, Yishan Wong made a community-minded decision to not add more advertising to help fund the company's growth.
Gigaom's Mathew Ingram brought out this important point relative to media companies approach to putting up a paywall, which you may say, stirs the community pot. Worth mentioning is Reddit's growth of monthly pageviews, from 46 million to 3.8 billion since 2010 as stated in Ingram's article.
So the opportunity cost of Reddit Gold, at $29.99/year may be a higher satisfaction rating--the percentage of members who sign up for Reddit Gold and optionally turn off advertising.
In another community model, the specialized 2degrees' sustainable business community, it is a professional and secure environment open to the public. The champions of the online community, the members themselves, speak for the value of 2degrees as a resource for sustainability strategies for global providers and buyers. The practice of knowledge sharing and collaboration earns its place in your communities, as 2degrees demonstrates, in so much as what you reap is what you sow.
The community cause, like on Reddit is freedom of expression. How far can you go to protecting your members interests? Tweaking the community model, as many people have found, is a direct correlation to sustaining the online community experience and I believe, loyalty.