I joined the site in August 2015 as member 118 (and currently am the 18th longest continuously active members. In the beginning, there WASN’T a chat room, and Vanessa wrote all or nearly all the articles. So it was the forums that I first devoured. In fact for most of that first year, I was usually the last(most recent) commenter on on nearly every forum post/topic, and the initiator of dozens of them. One of my early ‘nicknames’ was ‘STFM’ for ‘Skippy The Forum Monster’. In fact Vanessa told me that her developer asked her ‘who is this Skippy1965Cynthia person? Their name is EVERYWHERE-are they a hacker or troll?’ lol.
Then a few months after I joined, the chat room was added, and I dove into the deep end in there too! The ability to talk to others in our community all around the world was amazing, and I and a few others would spend hours each evening and well into the overnight chatting. Both the forums and chat were my only true ‘social life’ as I was extremely closeted then, though with encouragement from others here that began to change. The site membership numbers were much lower then (in the low hundreds) though growing exponentially to the tens of thousands over the next few years. Vanessa graciously asked and allowed me to publish numerous articles. As the membership roles grew, so did the volume of posts making it difficult to impossible to keep up especially as I began to have a real actual social life in ‘the real world’ rather than solely virtual. Similarly I cut back on the number of hours in chat as well.
Now I still post occasional forum topics, and when I have time I try to go 4 or 5 pages back in the topics to see what’s new there. Articles I keep bup with a little better as they don’t post so many so quickly that I can’t keep up. Chat I do 3–5 night a week depending on the season- usually from 11pm Eastern US time til 1230-2am, Sunday, Monday,Wed-Fri. Not every night but often enough. And of course I do my greetings to each new member every day as I have done since joining nearly seven years ago. In the early days, I was able to personalize each response and greeting , but as the site grew-and the number of new members reached 20 to as many as 40-50 per day-it became impossible to continue in that manner so I had to go to a general greeting and welcome or I would never do anything else. But it is not a bot doing them; I still go to each new member’s page-read the brief intro from their profile on the new members listing and offer a friendship request and greeting.
So I guess ultimately, I am split evenly on ‘faves’ between chat, forums, and articles. I do encourage those who like the articles and forums to scroll way back to see some of the older posts from the early days. Lots of great info that often goes unread by our newer folks. And remember as I say in my greeting, if you like something a member wrote and want to see other things they have written, you can go to their profile page and click ‘forums’ r ‘articles’ at the bottom of their cover photo and it will take you to all their writings.