I was posting on a forum tonight and thought to myself that there are a few regulars that post daily, many that find an answer to their problem and leave, and the majority signs up and never posts a thing. The administrator of the forum on which I was posting asked why this is. I might have an answer.
Some forums make you sign up before you can use the search feature. Some people sign up and never post a thing, just so they can use the search function and be able to see attached pictures if the forum supports that feature.
There are always going to be some moochers in the group. I've seen it time and time again on gun forums. People venture into the forum world to ask a question. When that question of theirs is answered, they are gone forever. These people never contribute to the group dynamic, only take knowledge from it and depart.
The regularly posting forum members are the hardcore lifeblood of the group. The dynamic between the regulars can be rough at times, merely because one person may not like another, but still sees that undesirable person posting daily. I am a regular poster on one forum, and i continue to do so because I haven't lost interest in the topic at hand (guns) and I greatly enjoy the positive comradery and encouragement that other forum users tend to offer.
Internet forums as a whole seem to be filled with a lot of know-it-all types and just straight up assholes. There is a certain amount of anonymity involved in posting on a forum, leading to a higher likelihood of attacks against other forum users, patronizing, and generally being mean. The amount of hear-say, especially on gun forums, irritates me. There are some people out there that thing Glocks are amazing and think you're a fool for buying anything else. I tend to disagree. I own guns that I don't carry, I own some guns for the sake of enriching my collection more than anything else.
The group dynamic of a gun forum can draw parallels and contrasts to that of an automotive-based forum. I used to post regularly on Jeepforum, a large forum with sub-forums for each model of Jeep. I stuck to the Cherokee XJ forum for the most part and was banned after mentioning a rival forum in a post. My post was edited to remove the link leading to a rival forum. When I questioned why my post was edited, I was banned. I never went back. I was not trying to start shit with anyone and I had thousands of posts in the technical section alone.
Some people on Jeepforum wouldn't do things the right way, but would recommend it because it worked well for them. Just because their half-assed cheap shortcut worked for them, it is still not the right way to do things. Some people just didn't understand that, and would get mad when I would suggest a fix or modification that was more thorough or more expensive. I had good reason for these recommendations, but those cheapskate shortcut people were not too happy with me. This element of the group dynamic does not really occur in firearm forum communities.
The group dynamic of the forum on which I usually post is unique in the forum world. People don't attack each other, people don't make snide comments, and people don't really argue. Its a utopia among the internet, and I'm proud to be a member of it.