BUT I think they need to have some sort of public forum...
Whether they have an exclusive area for fanclub members - or have one area for non-fanclub members - I think that shutting it to all public - turns people off/away.
There have been a few artists that I've lost interest in as their boards are locked down completely.
*BUT* there should be some area where only members and read/post.
I completely agree with you! There needs to be a clear, posted list of the rules regarding use of the site and the treatment of others - what is and is not accepted. Also, a way to report any abuses.
Also, I agree with you regarding the accessibility of the forum. We pay for the right, we should be the only ones to have use of it.