So for whatever reason I've been thinking back to all the time I've spent here. To all those that are interested, here's a little retrospective of the times I've had through my point of view.
I have been around adisc for quite some time. Now, I haven't quite been the most active or well known member, though I certainly have been around. In my tenure I've seen many names show up and disappear, many people come and go. Some were for the better and some for the worse. Times have changed quite a bit on this site, and quite drastically as well. In the end things just really have been different as time has went on.
When I first joined the site was a much smaller place, more a place for a group of friends to chat about on whatever they so chose. The environment was much more laid back and free. It was more of a close knit group, there were some main figure heads as well as other newcomers. Names would appear and become more prominent as time went on and everyone got to know who you were. Things were more personable and relatable back then. You could really get to know many of the members as there was less to sift through to see each member's posts. Heck, even I managed to post a fair bit back then. ( I even averaged 10 posts a day for quite a while; what a spammer I was. ) As time went on the site slowly grew as more and more personalities began appearing. Times were good and the site seemed to prosper. More and more friendships were made and expanded. Community was really the best term to describe it.
Now, anyone who knows me should be acquainted with the several breaks I have taken from the site. There's been various times I've been less than pleased with the site or its members, that's no secret. The first major hiatus I took was around the crash of the previous website. During that point I just had enough of the monotony, the same topics constantly reappearing. The same people causing drama and strife between site members. I was just content to take a step back and enjoy more personal friendships with other members through chat and IM clients. Really it felt like I had gotten out of the site what I could, I showed up and got to know some people, then continued friendships outside the site and was on my merry way. Content with my findings and personal growth I stepped away for a while as issues boiled on.
The main issue going on was the expansion of the website. People were joining but not as much for the long haul. This had brought in a shift in the dynamic of the forum Members who weren't as easily understandable to newcomers really suffered the most because they'd be constantly scrutinized since newer people didn't know where they were coming from. Others began to feel the personality of the site fading as more and more names were popping up and there were fewer specific individuals sticking around. This change in dynamic of the people caused the place to be forced to be a more friendly to all place rather than friendly to those who had been around. While it may not have been quite as dramatic as it sounds, it certainly was a change in the overall forum attitude and complexion.
After a much needed break I had started to return, with some coercion from friends. A bit of posting about and I was nearing the 1,000 post mark even, though fate didn't have that in the cards as that was about the time the previous website had crashed. This worked as a sort of convenient blank slate, time to start up everything anew. There was less to sift through, as the new site was launched free of all the old material. It was more of everything put back in equal standing, though it still was disheartening to see all that material and time spent from the past just vanish in the blink of an eye. Issues seemed to sort of go on halt a bit as everyone was getting used to the new website, though of course it was only a momentary ceasefire.
This is when really a big issue of philosophy came up. Should the site keep expanding to accommodate more and more people, or cut back on the expansion and cater more to the desires of the older members. In the end the idea of expanding the site further won out, much to the dismay of many older members. It wasn't particularly the new members that were the problem; it was that the older members had felt they just weren't as important because they weren't boosting numbers. Many older members felt that the site wasn't really as much for them anymore; in some ways it really wasn't. Over the span of time drama would arise over this subject here and there, never really being truly resolved. Just as more, drama and people would come and go.
Still things just carried along as time continued to flow. After all this a sort of curious situation arose: cliques. As more and more people joined it sort of turned into a high school lunch room scenario. People made friends and grouped together, and didn't interact much with those outside their circles. From my viewpoint the website seemed more fragmented. As social circles prevailed it became more of circles competing and arguing more than intertwining and growing like before. Somewhere around this time bracket I had once more departed, not that I was around all too much by this point anyway. From this point on I never really returned in full force to the website again. Intermittently I'd show back up, but usually not for long.
Really since then it's been more of the same. Similar stories of members being around for a while then leaving when they feel they've had all the website had to offer; the same story just different faces. The website growing has just allowed more and more people to find it then come to similar conclusions just as the others before them, though hopefully with a few friends in tow and some nice experiences. Thus is how the website has worked for most everyone who has entered for any significant time, just differing in the length of their stay.
Somehow I've managed to stick around by not fully returning. As I've stated, I'm not the most prominent member of community, nor was I ever. After my initial stint of excessive posting I had made a good circle of friends. Even in that group I've seen people come and go over the years. Once that began I for the most part relegated myself to the role of a lurker, occasionally posting here and there as I please, but for the most part sitting back and watching. Really that's all I've been able to do as the site has went through its different phases of life, just sit back and watch. And so lurking I shall remain possibly occasionally to step down from my perch to report more once again, who knows what the future will hold.