Hey folks, it seems an old timer and a moderator (at least when time allows) will weigh in.
I was here from the very beginning. I know what the board was and how it came to be behind the scenes and what the world saw. But all that really doesn't matter.
What does is that this is a forum for live fire cooking. Regardless of fuel or rig or even high or low heat. It's about the food. We are here solely by the grace of Workman and Steven. As a result we play be their rules and their hopes and dream and desires of what this board is and will be. As a result we must remember to be open to all and to not bite the hand that feeds us. Many of the issues I read here of "it didn't used to be that way" well some of that is just a sign of the times. Back in the beginning unless you were a web person you didn't have a blog or even a page. Food Network was in its infancy. There weren't a lot off BBQ shows. Now everyone has a blog or a Facebook page. It's just so easy to share content and self promote. And with loads of cooking content on TV and reality cooking shows now everyone aspires to be a TV star. Not saying this is good, bad or indifferent just the way it is now. I am pretty sure that you won't reach that goal here though. But lets keep this in mind that this site unlike so many others isn't selling or promoting, 99% of what is discussed other than Steven's books or Products (and his products didn't exist back in the day). So it is through Workman and Steven that we are permitted to have the broad discussions we do. We must always remember and respect them for that and not abuse or take advantage of that. It is not about us as members of the board, it is about the community.
As to people being active...well I am a perfect example. I started as a guest and posted and contributed enough that I was asked to be among the first group of moderators. At the sites origins there were none at all. We were asked to volunteer. We do this on our own time and are not paid or in any way associated with Workman or Steven. We have seen great folks come and go for their own reasons. I personally answered many posts created many and did lots of behind the scenes duties, including editing, and deleting posts. At the time the board was being built. There was a need and demand for time and posts. It was years until Sticky Threads and FAQ's were created. Then, for me, as with many of us, both moderator and non life got in the way. Work, family, and everything else. Am is still cooking, you betcha. I still average 300 racks, 3 hogs, 40 butts, 20 gallons of beans, countless chicken pieces and steaks and burgers etc etc etc a year. I do this over gas, wood, pellet on rigs that range from cheap and small to very expensive full competition rig. And no I'm not a caterer or a pro cook in any way. I just don't have the time to post about it, or take pictures either. But unlike in the past I don't know if you need me too. The board has become established. Many moons ago the site was starving for content. There was very little here. Now a search will yield hundreds and hundreds of results. At some point are we just restating or reshowing the same info and pictures? I get new content keeps things fresh but at the same time it is up to everyone not just a few anymore to do that. At the same time this site unlike many others is about education. And with all education people move on. They "graduate" or even get bored. Perhaps they come back perhaps they don't. There will always be more folks looking for help and to learn. If folks need help, they will ask, if they want to contribute great, if they choose to just lurk and lean well that is fine too.
All that said we must also remember that if we can't all get along, can't play nice, and keep the site open friendly, helpful, informative to everyone and all then it may cease to exist.
For my part I'll try to get around more often.