Here's my standard response to the "why isn't it free" question ... it costs money to provide for you. (And a huge amount of time.)

To help people who can't manage the $18 yearly fee, the new $1.80 per month option has been provided (My Blab > Paid Subs.) There is a link showing people how to start and top the monthly option at will.

The BF forum is opened to all members during BF week, as part of the general hobby celebration that goes on then.