I too received the survey invitation, and this was my response:
I'm sorry, but as a lifetime member, I paid my dues and have received no real return on this investment. You (Ryan) have been utterly and completely absent from the site. Content has been lame to say the least. Complaints, suggestions, and even willing volunteers have been ignored and snubbed. Adding this advertising to MLifers is adding insult to injury. I understand your desire to monetize the site, but first you must rebuild the trust that you've systemically destroyed during the past 3 years that I've been a lifetime member.
A far better approach would be to engage customers and visitors in a meaningful dialog about how to share the burden of managing the site, generating new content, welcoming visitors, and generating activity that makes people DESPERATE to join rather than wondering WHY they joined.
There are an huge number of people here who would love to help out, love to participate in many ways, if only their contribution was allowed, valued, and recognized. Find ways to recognize and thank those who've contributed the most, assisted others, generated the most content. Make people feel welcome and valued.
Giffgaff in the UK is a mobile phone company that generated 400k subscribers in 3 years-with a staff of only 25. They key to their success? They let their customers design the company. They have no customer support function--it is all done via their online customer support community. There is a tier-II support for billing and other privacy-related issues, but the customers support each other and do a far better job than US industry call centers. Customers recruit new members, create advertisements, set pricing, create apps, and generate content. All because they care about the product and community.
People here are passionate about the community. Let them loose and enable them to work miracles.