OnlineCommunities are subject to the economics of the IT industry, while often relying on donated server space and bandwidth. Because of this the proliferation of independent (not Yahoo! or MSN based) online communities has been limited by the small number of kind souls such as CliffordAdams. Thankfully, some of these people have apparently put their heads together and given us http://www.communitycolo.net/, as well as http://www.onlinepolicy.org/, where non-commercial groups /and individuals can get hosted or colocated for free (with a suggested donation way below the market value for the respective services).
Participation in online communities at the basic level requires a dedicated population with access to the internet, and is increased by having users with Internet access in their homes, places of work, and public access points. Thus the proliferation (and impact) of online communities is furthered by any economic development in society which increases access to the internet (lower DSL prices, public Hotspots, free public internet terminals, free ISPs, etc.).
On the flipside, any development which restricts Internet access, or dilutes the users' experiences (advertising, spam, pop-ups, monitors use, or limits access can be seen at detrimental to the SuperordinateGoal that online communities peacefully exist and flourish.
Contributors: JeremyZimmer, anon.
I saw this page's title and I expected it to be parallel to TechnologySolution, CommunitySolution, LegalSolution. E.g., something like Wiki:StoneSociety to reduce wiki conflict or make wiki decisions; or something concrete like "you must pay $0.10 for every edit you make, but it gets refunded (or maybe you even get credited with a "freebie edit" towards future edits) if it isn't reverted in 48 hours" -- to reduce vandalism. Err, probably it would be better to traffic entirely in tokens rather than cash, because the latter makes a high barrier to entry. But that's the basic idea. :) -- anon.
I'm with you. The concept you described is defined well in CodeAndOtherLawsOfCyberspace where Lessig describes the four tensions in the regulatory environment, of which we had defined three here before he published, and we have yet to include the fourth, the EconomicSolution. That being said, this page is still valuable, but should be renamed (or rather reorganized into a variety of pages). I've elided the preamble, but it's available from the page history if it's deemed important. (I thought it was just a sketch.) -- SunirShah