Fortuitous has compiled some great advice for anyone running an online community. It’s mostly aimed at social networks or forums, but can be applied to any site that has a community element – such as a popular blog.
If the Digg HD-DVD encryption key fiasco taught us anything, it’s that you can’t make rash top-down decisions and expect your community to be okay with it. For MetaFilter, I run an entire forum devoted to discussing the site itself. I float new ideas and new UI enhancements there and anyone else can start a thread about some aspect of the site. When I have to make a tough decision, I mention it in a new thread and get the members’ reactions and often tailor the final result based on their feedback.
It’s worth taking the time to read.