Many online community websites start their operation by a not-for-profit business model, which attracts a lot of users to engage in. The huge user base and heavy Internet traffic could generate revenue and wealth for the websites. When the online communities are becoming popular, entrepreneurs of the online community website may hope to commercialize the online community. Nevertheless, some of community participants are against the commercialization of the online community website, since they regard that the property of online community is belonged to users rather than website owners. Users may challenge the legitimacy in the commercialization process of online community, and argue that the online community should be owned by the public rather than by a company since the enormous community participants put effort in it and make the website a popular one. This study used two case studies of online communities to explain the normative legitimate issues in the entrepreneurship of online community.
Wang, Chih-Chien and Yang, Yann-Jy, "Normative Legitimacy in the Commercialization of Online Community Website" (2009). ICEB 2009 Proceedings (Macau, SAR China). 30.