I still visit - not least because I'm an AI blogger (and there are some excellent blogs beginning which are uncensored and sometimes amusing, but lovely to read, like the ones on here!) but the moderation is sometimes extreme. Sometimes, I'm glad of that, though, because it seems just like it'll turn into a Mumsnet bitch-fight or free advertising for all... There are some really nasty people out there who have nothing better to do than be completely contrary and difficult. I like to be a difficult person back, though :) I have nothing better to do with my time :(
Unfortunately, it's not limited to AI... Mumsnet is a bitch-fest. I'm a moderator on a bipolar disorder site - and OMG you should see some of the stuff people put on there!! I've had a few things removed, which is a shame, but one of them was a link to Valerie's business site, so I kind of get that. If you've got a rule, even if there are too many of them, you still have standards which people can apply. On the other hand, some of the most rule-obsessed sites seem to attract Victor Meldrew and his clones. It's nice to have a site relatively free from rules. Having said that.... some 'unmoderated forums' are a haven for trolls and anonymous bitching. This has the right idea - you are who you are - and it's much less subversive. You just use common sense, as you would if you were talking in a group of people you have just met, or know quite well - and because you are who you are, there's no hiding behind anonymity.
My favourite troll was a guy on my own blog. He decided he didn't like my 'Hoorah, the witch is dead' post about the demise of certain UK quangos who were responsible for my utter cynicism about the teaching in Britain, and pointed out 700 people would be made unemployed. I replied that they were 700 people milking the state cow and throwing away the milk, and that complaining to me about it was like a German SS officer complaining to the UK about being put out of work once the concentration camps closed. He buggered off after that.
I quite often get into arguments with people online and I quite like putting them right. I really hope I haven't done it to anyone here ;-)
I have to say, I save my wrath for Mr Meldrew of the AI brigade. Once, some guy told me some nonsense on there about what you had to pay as an AE, and what you didn't. He was wrong. I sent him about 20 links proving his wrongness. He didn't come back.
A French teacher from a local school put an ad up for English people who'd come and walk with kids from her class, talking English and enjoying a walk for a couple of hours. She got some really negative responses saying 'I came here to learn French (that makes me laugh because so many people want English-speaking helplines etc!!) and so I decided to go. I met some wonderful people from across the Charente, all of whom use AI and all of whom were exactly my kind of people, just as you are. I'm guessing, as in classes, they are dominated by certain individuals who like to make a lot of fuss, hence requiring a heavy moderation. Also, having only one moderator, rather than a team, means that personal grudges can become an issue. I'd edit everything anyone said who I disagreed with!! (Hence, good as a team moderator, not as an individual, extending her 'Virtual World of Emma'
Wow. Long response. Had a lot to say. Must get back to AI to spout forth my wisdom to counteract the naysayers and the idiots who can't use pages jaunes.