I don't think it devolved that much. My concern with the archives is related to the OP's question two:
I guess I'm of two minds on this. APUG is supposed to be an active forum with discussion (I think), not a dead archive. So I don't really understand why people would get bent out of shape when the same question pops up over and over. Why would we assume it was answered correctly the first time? Because it was a long time ago? Because it was answered by an older person?
On the other hand, in a way I take RPC's view even further when I suggest novice analog workers not even bother searching internet forums - active or archived - before getting at least some simple foundations from Ilford and Kodak publications (which I've linked to and suggested to newcomers). There is a lot of bad information out there, both new and archived.
I highly doubt this if the mbr in the thread below was regulated to a "newby forum" the tone of some towards his experience (or lack thereof) and chosen equipment would have evolved any different....not sure the mbr ever came back too....
Last, why is this is philosophy? APUG Feedback seems a better fit...
As for Elamm and his black negatives, considering that the word "Lomo" was involved, he should count himself lucky that some members here didn't call for his head. Feel bad for the kid, though.
Here are some registration stats by month:
We've generally had between 450-600 new registrations per month for years. Overall activity seems fairly constant so I suspect any departing member traffic is replaced by new member traffic. We're not expanding or shrinking which I would think is typical of popular niche websites. The same goes for subscriptions, with departing subscribers being replenished by newer members that subscribe. Subscriptions are down slightly 10-15% from a couple years ago but I would suspect this is a symptom of the current global economy. What really keeps us going are those who opt to subscribe for more than the required amount.
Sean, your graph is certainly informative, but how I do wish that I could 'read into' such demographic and determine, with accuracy, the chronological age of those 'replacements'. But merely 'keeping even' is something to be proud of.
If those 'replacements' are young and 'new to analog', that would be a major achievement here. And that would say plenty about the viability of this medium and, of course, about this particular website. (Of course, to be truly informative this statistic would also have to offer data as to how long such newcomers remain here!)
Theoretical perfection is not possible, but just brainstorming might become useful for future thinking on this topic. The fact that this thread 'took off' is, in itself, meaningful and bodes well for the delay of a funeral for analog.- David Lyga