Wish I had something to say to this, but I can't seem to find the words I want.
I will just get some stuff out quickly. I like this place because it has a lot of unique, varied people. You have the nice guys, you have the dicks, you have the geeks, you have the "bros", and you have the Charlies. Yes, sometimes a poster can annoy you, sometimes it gets to a point you spend a day arguing some point with them over and over. In the end though, it kept life interesting.
I don't post enough to really get into all the drama. I do have my own drama, for instance my marking as the "Blizzard Fanboy" because I can be White Knight them a lot on some topics, but I just let it go, wash off me. I take much more crap from people on the phone at work, and I sure don't mind a discussion as long as people make sense, even when I find it counter to my own views.
Really, I don't think this place needs a theme or a focus, nor do I think over-moderation is the answer. What may need to happen is for every guy that kind of decides to act like a dick, maybe more of us that like to be civil need to speak up more in defense. I know I can be pretty bad about chiming in when drama is concerned, often leaving the person I agree with cornered and alone. That is something I should work on.
A lot has been said already, but I'll add my two cents anyway:
I pulled back my involvement some time ago because of what I perceived as overwhelming negativity. I didn't experience any specifically towards me that I can remember, but it was more of the mood of this place. I started lurking and posted from time to time, sometimes a little more than others, but I didn't miss this place.
I think Makare has a point when they said that people made really harsh comments towards another member and then backed off with the whole, "LOL JK" attitude...not being held accountable for what they said by hastily labeling it as a joke. That's simply not cool, and not what I come to this place to read.
I've been around as long as many of the old guard have. I've seen the growth, stagnation, growth again cycle of this place. There are personalities here that I really like and like reading what they have to say. I can come here for pop culture related stuff I don't get from the other boards I visit, and I find myself agreeing with a lot of the opinions or appreciating the dissenting opinion.
I'm all for this forum having freedoms that other forums don't, but I do think that the accountability for posts needs to be enforced more. If we are a self-policing forum, I haven't seen enough of that in the past. Believe me, I'm thick skinned and often couldn't care less what some random poster says to me, but that doesn't meant that everyone is and this has to be taken into consideration. At the same time, I don't think that the rules and/or expectations for this place can be modeled on the thinnest-skinned of our posters.
Do I have an answer? No. That being said, I definitely think it'd be a mistake for you, Dave, to step down as admin. You are the reason we even have a home. It's a home that I'm trying more to visit and take part in, but it's not exactly a place I'd suggest my friends visit and join...at least not right now. Hopefully, that will change.