I posted this on another thread but didn’t want to derail that thread so started a new one. It pertains to forum growing pains. As we are growing, having get-togethers and dabbling with sponsors, it just seems all to familiar. I’m not posting this to be negative. I’m posting because I care and don’t want to see history repeat itself. Just something to think about as we continue to grow and try to come up with a solution before we get trapped on the downward point of no return. I’ve been down this road on another forum with mud motors. There was the original and biggest get-together in La. But we craved more, so I hosted one in another part of La, then the Texas guys hosted one on their lake. It was good times, meeting the members and seeing their part of the woods. Seeing all the mods on their boats and motors. It was the building age of the surface drive mud motors and was exciting. It got sooo big that eventually you get a bad apple in the group that does something wrong and ruins it for everyone. The Big ride was the 1st to shut down. Then the other mud rides started to do private invite rides because they didn’t want to be held reliable if someone got hurt. Clicks formed, website got a taste of money coming in from sponsors, atmosphere of the forum changed because of rules needing to be strictly enforced and true opinions couldn’t be posted in fear of upsetting a sponsor. Huge waves of the original group of guys that got the site going left in discust. Site never was the same. Next forum I got in at the beginning again. Great core group just like this site. Didn’t need strict rules. We set example of how we wanted people treated and everyone just understood and respected each other. Started small public land group hunts. Had great times. Popularity grew, small group hunts became huge and out of control, site became huge, hunting contest formed, some bad apples loved the glory so much cheating occurred on a contest just for fun, sponsor money came in, lots of members, bad apples needed rules and enforcement, had to keep sponsors happy, original group slowly left the forum because it wasn’t what it started out as. I see the same stages taking place here, but we haven’t got to the downward slope yet. Just hope it ends differently. I warned the other forums. They said it will never happen, we are a close family, etc etc etc. History repeated itself. Those forums are still huge but it’s not the same close knit family like when it was starting out. Nature of the beast I guess. I’ve made lifetime friends on all of those forums and it wouldn’t have been possible if we didn’t go through those stages. We just need to be conscience of where growth can lead and make the best decisions to honor what this forum was started on and where we came from. It’s easy to get caught up in the fast pace of progress.