Originally Posted by Mounds
I'm just gonna go ahead and throw this out there: there was never anyone dominating this place.
I've had A LOT of dissenting opinions directed at me in my time of posting and many of them came from active members. All that really meant to me was that they had a different opinion.
And how does someone dominate the forum anyway? What's the criteria there...?
... a bigger friends list?
... a higher post count?
... more people agreeing with the other person?
... being a mod vs a regular member?
... having a bigger rep bar?
Maybe we can still explore that if you're interested.
On any forum, there will be members who simply put far more energy into it than the great majority of posters, and they do
come to dominate, setting the tone for the forum as a whole. I've seen it time and again, on dozens of forums. It's no different here.
Usually, they're the extroverts (plus a few socially adept introverts). They love meeting new people, making new friendships, and talking about the things that interest them. They're often strong personalities who aren't afraid of sharing their opinions. When they're on online forums, they quickly develop relationships with other, like-minded forum members, and those friendships go beyond the confines of the forum itself. And they post a lot,
because they're usually high-energy people who have no trouble figuring out what to say.
So that small, highly-active, highly-connected group will come to dominate any forum, simply through the sheer volume of their posts, their connectedness to each other, and their commitment to being part of that forum (that's why they often end up as mods). They don't plan
to dominate the forum or turn it into their social club, but they do.
And the overall tone of the forum will match the overall tone of that group, for better and for worse. If you're not in synch with the dominant group and their way of communicating (in this case, they tend(ed) to be very blunt and at-cause), then yes, it's easy to feel alienated. It's easy to feel like you're not being heard or taken seriously. It's not their intention to shut down conversations, or make people feel unwelcome, but given the way they set the tone for the community and seem to be in every thread and constantly talking to each other? Yeah, some new, less-active, less-confident posters, or those who don't match their energy, are going to feel devalued, left out, or trampled.
I've been on forums where the dominant tone was to handle everyone with kid gloves, never state an opposing point of view without swaddling it in pre-emptive apologies, never call-out liars or chronic pity-partiers, and otherwise walk on eggshells lest you cause offense. Some people want, need, and love that, but for me, those forums are horrible places--I can't stay. The same goes for forums where the dominant tone is that we're all struggling, fighting a terrible battle--I had to leave a forum for people whose cats have kidney disease for precisely that reason.
But that I disliked the dominant tone of those forums, kept stepping on toes, and didn't feel I fit in didn't make them wrong; it just made them wrong for me.
My own unhappiness wasn't an indictment against the dominant group of posters; it was a signal to go somewhere else, somewhere more to my liking. As someone who tries to be at-cause in her own life, I don't spend time resenting a forum and its "culture" for not being what I want it to be; I go find a group that is. And if said group doesn't exist? Then it's up to me to create it.
(Okay--the cats are howling to be fed, so I'll just leave it at that.)