Unfortunately, from the information provided concerning the working model of the enterprise in this thread, and the history of BPL, I think this site will be members only in the very near future, for all content. How long it can survive like that on the internet, I hesitate to guess.
As a small, exclusive 'community' I can see membership increasing in cost for those who joined up for life, for diminishing return, unless major changes take place and some vision is shown. Despite the best intentions of all concerned, the rather amateur (and I mean this is in the original complimentery definition rather than the modern derrogatory definition) approach has led to fund raising through 'life' membership, diminished content, and more exclusivity. It isn't working.
I have been here for a few years and seen the decline, and it does make me sad, but I congratulate those involved for creating something that was great for a while, but has lost its way, for me.
The internet is not a French café. There is no real estate, the costs and techical aspects of running a site have been discussed elsewhere, but the business model seems to be being made up as it goes along with all the best intentions in the world, and is doomed to fail without proper management and investment and a clear plan. There are internet sites that are free, function well and provide a service and a living for all concerned, and. Most importantly attract new visitors who stay, but this is a full time job, not something everybody does after work for nothing.
Nothing I have read or seen offered on the site in the last few years motivates me to join as a paying memeber, and I feel I have something to contribute, rather than donate charity to a floundering concern in the hope it might survive.
The truth is hard to see from within.