I hope this doesn't get too long winded. I do that sometimes.
About a year ago at this time I spent all my time hanging out in the ATR sections of the phones I owned (D1, D2, and finally a GNex). I was always looking for new themes, roms, or whatever to more personalize my phone. I had been a member here for over 18 months, yet I had only posted once.
Well, as I was looking for some help with my wife's phone (HTC Rhyme) some random senior member tried to give me a hand. They had a link in their signature to this thing called the Galaxy Nexus Watering Hole. I thought huh, I'll check it out. So I did. I said hello and was warmly welcomed by the folks in there. I looked at the breadcrumbs at the top of the thread to see where I was in the forum and saw the lounge. Hmmm.... ...what is this place.
So, I posted in there a bit, had a long discussion with EM about forum etiquette that I assume he forgot, but knowing him, he probably could recite it word for word.
See, AF was the first forum I had joined since the usenet days.
OK, back on topic. Now there was more than device forums here, so I started looking at the homepage more than just immediately navigating to my device ATR via the favorite forums link. I thought to myself, this place is huuuuge.
I notices a link just below the Lounge called unanswered threads and clicked it. What did I find (you have to read the next paragraph to find out).
I spent so much time reading in my ATR forums I always thought I was the dumbest person in the room. There was thread after thread in there with folks asking questions I was more than smart enough to answer. Now, I'm no ROM Dev or Themer, or App Dev. Heck, since my OG Droid I don't even flash roms that much (my GNex is stock rooted
I've spent the last year helping new Android users get used to their new devices whether it be setting different notifications tones for email, calls, or texts. Maybe the pro's and cons of rooting, or the differences between rooting and jailbreaking. A thanks hung on my posts is great, a thank you post in reply is better, the best is when someone says "I was afraid to ask, but this place is friendly."
So, where is all of this going? One link, in someones signature, to a watering hole in the lounge, has led me on this incredible journey. It's taught me that forums don't have to be scary places full of flame wars and noob bashing. The only stupid question is the one not asked. So when asked whether folks are better staying with their fellow device owners, my personal opinion is no. I think the benefits of folks getting exposure to whole experience of AF and its support of Android users via Watering Holes, Taverns, or Beer Gardens (I like that
) in the lounge area is to the benefit of the member drawn there, the membership as a whole, and new members that may sign up.
PS. I'm still for having them segregated in a Lounge subforum.