I want you guys to know that I've been a member of online forums since about 1996 (in the form of e-mail lists), and being a person who is fascinated by human psychology and especially the "online personality" aspect of it, I've seen it all in terms of what can make a forum thrive or go down in flames. The common trait of all failed forums I've seen is an attitude of elitism and egos that go unchecked, whether with the forum founder or in members that aren't moderated. The common trait of successful forums is a handful of knowledgeable, courteous, non-ego-driven personalities (your "level 2" definition) that set the tone and expectations for the rest of the members. Members like me who have been around the block see this and fall right in line.
All of that said, this is hands-down the best run, most laid-back and free-flowing forum I've ever seen. It's a total pleasure to ask for and offer information here. Even when I posted pr0n of my MOINK balls that look just like everyone else's MOINK balls, people go out of their way to comment in a colorful manner about how they'd "hit that". When have any of you seen this kind of outgoing behavior anywhere else? I know I haven't. Don't get me wrong, I'm not running around looking for praise for everything I do, but it does make things fun AND it makes me want to drool over (and comment on) the next guy's MOINK balls, i.e. pay it forward.
I'm not trying to say that there's nothing wrong with the forum, but as a new user, I don't see it. I'm glad that the management here is keen enough to see those problems, however, and nip them in the bud before we ALL feel them. Great job, guys! I, for one, sincerely appreciate it. If the forum continues to run the way it is now, I see level 2 in my future for sure. Time spent on this forum is definitely a great investment in the hobby of backyard BBQ!!!
Char-Broil Commercial Series Gasser, ECB, MECO 4400 charcoal grill, 22.5" OTS, UDS built 3/20/2010 ([URL="http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/album.php?albumid=291"]Pics[/URL], [url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCyKypslPhs"]Video[/url])
Maverick ET-7 and ET-73, home-built 18A sous vide temperature controller
IMBAS Certified MOINK Baller
My blog: [url="http://think-create-eat.blogspot.com"] THINK + CREATE + EAT[/url] - [URL="http://www.facebook.com/pages/THINK-CREATE-EAT/115706441783448"]"Like" on Facebook[/URL]
[B][COLOR=red]"Meat: It's what's for dinner. And lunch, breakfast, dessert..."[/COLOR][/B]