As pretty much anyone who posts there will know, I am a frequent poster at the JREF Forums. I've posted there since 2005 and my post count is rapidly approaching 40,000. In fact, I am right now the 7th Top Poster
, considering Darat (the forum admin), AutoModAction (the forum robot) are the top two. I have been a moderator, but I resigned that role for personal reasons. And for the record, I think the place gets a bad rap.
There have been some contentious moderator decisions, yes. I wasn't particularly happy with the no-commercial-links ruling, but that happened after I was a moderator. If it had happened while I still was, I would have voiced my opinion against it. And I have to say that my enjoyment of the site increased when I stopped participating in Forum Management/Feedback threads. But speaking as someone with 40,000 posts and only two infractions in that time, the rules really aren't all that hard to follow. I also usually don't take part in the monstrously long threads like Amanda Knox or those started by the infamous "DOC". And yes, if I post in a thread that suddenly explodes overnight, I'll usually lose interest and unsubscribe from it.
But there's one thing that I have to disagree with.
I do think that people who have been posting there for ten years + and been to numerous TAMs have their own little cliques, but there is no overall community.
It's the community that I love most about the JREF Forum. I have made friends there. If not for the community, I wouldn't have taken the trip to the US to go to TAM7. While in the US I stayed with friends, got driven about with friends, attended a show with friends, visited the Grand Canyon with friends, attended TAM, participated in the Talent Show, and hung out at the Del Mar with friends - friends that I had met and become friends with on that forum. I haven't encountered that kind of community anywhere else on the intarwebs. Perhaps it's because I post mostly in Humor and, well, Community.
Now, I don't want to bang on and on about this, because I don't really want to get into this-place/that-place arguments. I like it. I don't expect everyone else to, and that's okay. Everyone's experience is going to differ. Yes, it has its flaws. Yes, the moderation can be arbitrary at times. But while I'll happily post here and other places online, the JREF Forum is my home. The family may be a little dysfunctional, but I love 'em anyway.