Originally Posted by Dataunit
Although my profile says I've been registered since 2016, I've actually been around since 2008. My overall impression is that the forum has become less popular over time. This isn't necessarily RYL's fault: Internet forums in general have been in decline because Facebook groups have taken over (which I see as a shame, because it's not good for everyone to depend on just one website).
When I was active around 2008 - 2009, I seem to recall there having been many more posts made per day. But maybe this is all just my impression: after all, I am talking about 9 - 10 years ago.
Its true the forum format was crushed by web 2.0. That's too bad because Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc. are only good for a couple of small comments. For communication web 2.0 is mostly junky.
For RYL, there was also a cycle of demise specific to the site. As owner and webmaster, Harley was the key figure in keeping RYL on the beam. He was smart and always reached for new horizons. RYL was always in media. New people were constantly refreshing. Younger and newer members were generally more searching and energetic.
When Harley moved on (and it was no doubt time to do other things) there was a disconnect from "the vision thing". At the same time, the core of UK members (I wasn't in that group) who were very social on and off site went to uni, got jobs and families etc. and they too drifted away. The offsite/onsite social dynamic was unique at RYL. Its hard to duplicate something like that. As the dynamics declines, RYL became a legacy site - an artifact.
In some ways that probably kept it alive. As a small site that's easier to manage and fund, RYL is more preservable. If there were still hordes of new members and hundreds of posts a day. The costs, risks and administrative demands might make a site impractical. Inching along as a whisper in the corners of the web might be ok all things considered.