I am posting in this thread, but I am hoping this gets discussed as part of the merger thread on ORG where they are having what I consider to be both an interesting and fruitful discussion about the past, present and future of Redszone.
First, about me, I have been part of this board since it crossed over from the old board on the enquirer page. A military deployment interrupted my access for a while and when I returned I had forgotten my login name and lost the old email address so i had to start fresh. I have always loved coming to this board just to primarily read the posts of others. I think of myself as a huge Reds fan, but with none of the advanced baseball knowledge of some other posters, I seldom have much to add.
Now, about the general denigration of post quality that keeps being referred to on the ORG. I think Doug made excellent points about the fact that the Reds success limits the areas for improvement and thus the potential fruitful topics on the 'Zone. I also think that he is right that as the board matures, certain fundamental discussions (which stat is more valid and so on) get ironed out, which again limits the new and interesting discussion.
However, I disagree with most of the ORG posters when they talk about all the posters that have left. I do not think that this is necessarily the fault of the board so much as it is simple attrition. There are many things in life that pull us away from things and even the best board on the net is still going to lose around 10% of its avid posters every given year.
The real issue is that the current board separation may have actually prevented those expected losses from being replaced by new avid posters. The Sundeck has become like the Queen's Australia... a place for criminals... in this case that means newbies, boring lurkers like myself, and the immature offensive types the ORG likes to keep out. This is what is turning away your potential "new talent". You have to wonder how many new FCBs, TRFs, M2s, and RedStorms have been turned away by the interactions that they have had on the Deck... not wanting to put in the work, and I do mean work, it would take to impress the folks on ORG... folks you do not really have direct interaction with since you cant engage in the same conversations.
I think the new rules are great, but I have one caveat... i think the Mods of the new Sundeck should be primarily focused on helping new folks become part of the community... they should interact with the casual fan who asks the stupid question now and then, but do so in a supportive and educational way. In fact, I propose that it be a rotational duty for all the core posters of the old ORG. Say two of them are on duty each week to help make the Sundeck a welcoming environment... doing the basic things like explaining acronyms or what nickname refers to what player. They are not there to police the Deck, but rather serve as Rush Chairmen (Animal House reference).
This may seem like a chore at first, but the fact is they all love the Reds and I think explaining things to newbies can make you love being a fan even more.
I would willing volunteer to be part of this rotation if you need me after the merge, but I hope that the folks more knowledgeable than I would take up the mantle.
Thanks for taking the time to read this,