Lots of great thoughts and observations here in this thread. A few of them touch on the personal, and in those cases, we would ask that you contact a moderator whenever you have questions which might be either specific to a situation you have come upon, or if you wish to discuss the postings of others. Both of which the site encourages take place only in a private conversation with a member of staff.
Flynnibus, you may be right in that the 2 page limit could be reducing the browsing that folks do. It was my understanding that the reason we did that (among a number of other tweaks), was to reduce server loads and make the site run more smoothly. Some pages are cached, too, which works well for our largest group of readers, non-members, but may cause some frustrations for those of us who are darting back and forth between threads. I could have misunderstood the explanation, but will run the "2 page search" thoughts by Monorail Man and Trevor. Our technical hiccups and short outages of a few weeks ago seem to have been handled, and I expect that was in part due to some of these changes.
On another topic discussed here, one of the things that the mods agonize over the most, is that because our rules do not allow us to discuss the outcome, punishment-wise, when you have taken your valuable time to report possible rule breaking in a thread you were in, you may think we ignored your report or didn't take any action on it. Since we can't fill you in, we often get the feedback that we have taken a side in a discussion which we prefer, and those folks on that side go unpunished. It's not the case, and in particularly heated discussions, where large groups start going after the personal character of those on the other side, we end up getting complaints to that effect from both sides. You are free to believe what you wish, but this site is dedicated to promoting every side of every issue. Part of making that possible without constant chaos, is that we all enter the discussion topics with the assumption that the other members in the conversation are there to post their sincere beliefs, just as we are. As long as we are coming from that perspective, the likelihood that anybody will get called out for attacking others is very slim. If somebody is trolling or breaking other rules of ours, report them, neg rep them, but don't try to settle a score in public. Let us handle the situation behind the scenes. Calling others names and trying to embarrass them in public (a little of that going on in here, surprisingly) will do little to change the situation, and could end up with you and a mod in a discussion neither one of you wishes to be in.
Several of you are concerned that this place isn't the same community that it used to be. Part of that feeling comes from our growth. The first member who registered here, did so on January 10th, 2005. 15 people registered that same day. At the end of our first year, we had amassed 4417 members. Today, that figure stands at over 70,000 members.
Two of you in this thread, summed things up better than I could.
Flynnibus has it right:As does Barbaraann:The community is what you make of it. The ignore button is easy to find and if people let a few get them down they really should just use it.Agreed. No site stays the same forever. Our number of members has grown about 16-fold. The world and our country and the issues that drive both of them have changed substantially in the last decade. At the same time, people move on for as many reasons as there are former members. The character has changed, and for each member that may bring good feelings and/or concerns.Community. That's the secret ingredient. Is it here at MiceChat? Is it not here at MiceChat? Each of us must answer that for ourselves, and decide whether or not MiceChat has the stuff to keep us coming back each and every day. Or as frequent as your daily schedules allow.
I'll be closing this thread, because of our having veered into some topics which, by our site rules should be held privately.
Flynnibus, if you would please restate your technical question about the search limitations (the thrust of this thread, despite covering several other things), in the Forums forum maybe we can explore it better there. It got a little buried here with other topics entering the mix. To continue most of the rest of these discussion topics, let's take the conversations private. Please write to any moderator or administrator of the site to expound on your views or concerns.