So I've been thinking lately about how long I've been here, and how far I've progressed in mapping during my stay thus far, and I basically decided I'd stop coming here as much as I have been. But that isn't worth making a thread about at all, so I'm going to explain my reasons behind it, and hopefully it'll provoke a thoughtful discussion or something of the like.
To put it shortly, I have been convinced of what I've heard many times from other people here: this is a newbie mapping site. And the way I see it, that's what it works best as, and that shouldn't change at all.
During the past few months, it seems TWHL's become a rather quiet place. There have been no huge blowouts within the forums, no spam attacks, no large-scale disruption between members that have split people apart or turned them against each other, and no annoyed moderators thinking the site is absolutely doomed. It's quite good like this, isn't it?
What I attribute this to is the definite lack of any elitist troublemakers on the site in recent times. Without them, all seems to go smoothly. There seem to be quite a few new members here that look like they're going to stay, and while they're largely inexperienced, that's what holds us together, and they're the only thing that's ever kept this place together.
Just look at what happened a while back. I'm sure most of the regulars remember. Basically, a bunch of really well known people started populating TWHL, and it was a huge disaster. Newcomers were effectively shunned from the site, while turmoil erupted between everyone who managed to stay. Almost everybody (myself included) acted like a jerk, and there were constant flamings on the forums. But when it all settled down, when all the regulars started posting less frequently and beginners starting swarming in again, it was all good.
It might seem like I'm stating the obvious here, but what I think it boils down to is realizing that maybe a stricter and higher rate of moderation isn't an absolute cure for the growth of the site. Maybe instead, allowing TWHL to shrink a bit would be a sound idea. Maybe then it could resemble the "old days" (not that I can protest to personally knowing what they were like), and all would be good again.
Now, I hope this isn't taken the wrong way. I don't mean to imply that we'd be better off if all the regulars and old-timers would just get up and leave. All I'm suggesting is that perhaps if we continue sitting back as we are now, and don't let the place be ruled by individuals with too much time on their hands and a nasty temper, then we could actually get somewhere as a community.