I'm just checking in here for the first time in a long long time. (Doing it guiltily, glancing at the clock... having already used my alloted computer and coffee time on other things, and now eating into cleaning the house and playing with the horses time..
I think that what we have here is an incredible resource, an amazing Alladin's Cave for horses' friends. It seems that you have become it's honorary custodian, still hanging around the caverns, ready and willing to point enquirers to just the right corner to find ideas that may help them with what they are searching for. I'm so glad that you're here to do that! You help to ensure that the work we all did continues to have value.
Personally, I put a huge amount of myself into this project. Too much at times. I neglected kids, husband, work, home, animals, to steal the long hours needed to go so deep into the heart of things. I spent hour after hour, late into the night, reading, thinking, writing, revising and thinking some more. I LIVED this quest. And then, after all the long hours, I would take it to my horses, and spend more hours.
And it was worthwhile in so many ways. I received so much back! Support, encouragement and best of all, IDEAS that guided me on my own personal journey. The focus point that provided me with the motivation to continually examine, observe, challenge, change and better myself. And the success with my horses!
In the beginning, what I received was more than what I could offer. Little by little, as some of us early starters refined and crafted our work, and continued to share, the balance began to tip. We put in far more, in terms of knowledge, practical support, ideas, guidance, experiences, (and time! ) than we could now get back. For a while, for me,this was not just okay, but right! Paying it forward. As time went on though, there were only a handful of people who could offer me something of great value here. But always more people arriving, and standing closer to the bottom of the pyramid, and diluting the upward flow.
I hope I'm not misunderstood here.. I don't mean this in an elitist way. It's just practical. If a team of friends set out to climb a mountain,and they build their trust and teamwork and skills, as they get higher towards the summit, they will be able to rely on each other, and their own personal skills, to help achieve their goal. If they decide, altruistically, to also, at the same time, help EVERYONE who wants to climb the mountain to take their first slippery clumsy steps, they may never reach the top. They will be forever weighted down with showing others the way, and hauling others up.
So the way I see it, I've already paid it back. I've been there, along with many others who I will respect for life, helping each other up, forging a team. We laid a track, and we supported some of those coming behind us. But now, if I hang around at the bottom of the mountain, endlessly discussing the best ways to get started, I'll never get any further forward.
I applaud those of you who continued to stay and give and give. I reached a point where the balance had tipped too far. The site had become so wide and deep, and often (for me) in many places, frivolous, that to stay current, I had to spend large number of hours reading, The payback was not sufficient to make it worthwhile. Particularly as the people with whom I could still grow with were having their postings similarly diluted, and were taking their quests for knowledge away into other specialised areas instead.
I don't think that the site could have been done any better. It's the nature of these things to grow in this way, and then explode, and outgrow themselves.
The only thing I could think that might solve this, would be to have levels.. an "inner circle" group where the beginnings don't have to be continually discussed. A Master Class? Perhaps open to be read by others, but only allowing postings from long term members who're still exploring on a higher level. Does that sound too rigid? I don't know. I would love to still be able to talk things over with my old friends and colleagues. But I don't want to get bogged down in ever widening circles of dilution with newcomers entering into these conversations with things that have been discussed ad nauseum, or with frivolous postings, basic question and disturbances.
Another solution to make AND more valid into the future, might be to create two parts. A resource part, where the most important postings from various different topics and threads get posted, then attached to each unit of the resource, a discussion thread. In this way, you wouldn't have to be there always to point the way. It would help to preserve the valuable work that has been done, and keep it fresh by having a link to current discussion.
In conclusion, yes, for me it's a matter of time, It always was. But it's like you say, We choose where to spend our time, We spend it in the places where we get the most returns. Right now, I choose to spend my time, more with my husband, more on my local online community, more on my teaching work, and more with forums that support my current need for learning. I am a teacher/learner. I love to teach, but only as long as I'm learning at the same time. When I don't feel I'm going forward, I turn my attention to other areas.
One other thing of note....
The decline in postings also co-incided with the explosion of facebook.
More peope are choosing to spend their alloted time there I think. Might be worth posting a link to this question to your facebook account.
It's a very good question! I'll post it to mine.. lets see if we get some more bites!
Thanks Romy, for still being there and keeping our work alive!
I have not sought the horse of bits, bridles, saddles and shackles,
But the horse of the wind, the horse of freedom, the horse of the dream. [Robert Vavra]