Daily Kos (a Dem-friendly political community) has been going through some growing pains over the last few weeks, triggered in part by the departure of Theoria, a popular and well-established poster.
dKos founder Markos Moulitsas has put up an interesting post over the weekend addressing the subject. In the process, he talks about the lifecycle of his community – one I suspect is mirrored on other large, mature sites featuring intense participants. He writes:
I’ve seen it three times already, and now I’m seeing it happen again. We have an established community. The influx of traffic means lots of new faces who don’t know the established etiquette start posting on the message boards. There is tension as the established guard clashes with the old guard. Eventually, the old guard is outnumbered, and seeing fewer and fewer of their old online friends, kind of fade away. It’s like seeing your favorite pub taken over by a new scene.