I’m just as dismayed as anyone else that WoW Insider is being forced to close up shop. But this is a symptom of a bigger and more insidious problem: community as profit.
We had a major hub of the community, and it got shut down because it wasn’t making enough money. Our community is at the mercy of people staring at spreadsheets. Why should we start to congregate somewhere new, which is necessarily large and therefore likely to be a major company’s project, only to have it yanked out from under us?
I’ve seen this happen before and no doubt it will happen again. The best we can do is to support the independent sites that foster community and hope to hell that they don’t shut down – but at least if they do, it won’t be because some mega-company pulled the plug.