I know there are those here who still harbor ill will about R+, and I don't really want to enable that debate: but I'll offer my thoughts on Social.
Karl wanted to keep Social open and available as long as possible. He really did believe in the benefits of a social atmosphere, and the power of crowd-sourced knowledge. He also thought that MVNOs in general were an important alternative to the Big 4 offerings. After the demise of R+ as a provider, he hoped to keep the Social forum as a viable entity, and to let the members and other MVNOs take it where it fit best.
Social had never been a very technically stable platform-- it seemed to require regular maintenance, and there were frequent outages-- as well as the fixed costs of providing the site. The thought was to monetize Social through co-promotions with other MVNOs (as with SpeedTalk and TPO), to hopefully get some assistance from other MVNOs that didn't have their own forums (& admired Social), and to use site banner advertising.
This seemed to be a win-win-win situation if it worked. Users would get special rate offers, other MVNOs would get direct communication channels with users and prospective users, the accumulated knowledge would remain available & grow.
Site traffic fell off steeply, though. I suspect that the last time the site broke and needed significant maintenance, it just wasn't viable with the income it was generating.
I'd like to offer special recognition to all the Social members who shared their expertise, knowledge, and experience to make Social a great source of information about how networks work, about technical issues, about solving device-specific issues, about VoIP, etc. Karl mentioned to the mods several times that other MVNOs, and Sprint itself, were impressed by the Social forum.
In one particular instance where a Sprint network-wide glitch caused massive problems across the entire Sprint network, Karl told the mods that the Sprint Tech team was particularly impressed that the Social crowd-sourced forum was coming up with work-arounds and solutions that they were having trouble coming up with. The strength of Social even helped RingPlus in contract negotiations with Sprint.