A number of people have pointed to the ongoing IP debates as a cause of the decline in participation in AikiWeb. There's probably some truth to that - but I wonder if much of it isn't just part of the continuing trend?
There's been rancor in the past - many years ago on one of the old mailing lists it got so bad that a well known Aikido instructor got on a plane to go confront his tormentor - who turned out to be a high school kid yanking his chain.
But people still kept talking, so rancor alone wasn't enough to actually squelch discussion.
Speaking of mailing lists, anybody remember Aikido-L? It was a rich and dynamic discussion mailing list that, in many ways, was the progenitor of AikiWeb.
Where is it today?
It, along with most of those types of lists, died away, victims of changes in internet usage patterns.
My daughter doesn't even use email anymore, she barely even uses her phone (the voice part) - everything is text and messaging.
Times and usage patterns change.
Most website discussion forums are pretty dead these days - here's an interesting article that I've found to be mostly true:
And another one:
Rest in peace..?