I thought that was a really good honest comment from someone ďoutside the loopĒ.
To be fair all of the forums and message boards Iíve ever been on have a degree partisanship, favouritism, personal attacks, and inter personal problems. And, letís face it, thereís nothing surprising about that because this is life, with all the same old human emotions we see in face to face interaction.
I think whatís important, and what distinguishes boards, is how such stuff is handled. And the ethos behind the existence of the board in the first place.
To run a board where:
1 Certain standards of behaviour are expected (as here)
2 Anyone is allowed to participate
3 Some element of learning beyond mere coffee and cookies chat is incorporated
takes a phenomenal amount of effort and dedication, and cannot imo be achieved sustainably with one person having dictatorial powers in every task area.
Passions has not failed, in the sense that it is now the image of its creatorís soul Ė to get a little melodramatic! It has however failed in the sense that the experiments over the years towards incorporating elements of otherís souls have all fallen by the wayside.
The underlying ethos of Passions is, and always has been, a benign dictatorship. The tensions in the past have arisen imo from trying to pretend on the surface that it was anything other than that.
And frankly I have a lot of sympathy with this, I doubt I could do better. In fact Iím pretty darn sure a message board run by me would end up in exactly the same state: modelled on my likes and dislikes and with a small number of likeminded people all sitting around year after year over the coffee and cookies chatting in a friendly way and becoming more and more insular and exclusive. And as I got older and more tired, with other things to do, I donít think I would care.