I wasn't only looking at post counts, but join dates as well. My point really is that the major factor perhaps isn't a difference in demographic, but a combination of lots of changes that happen as a forum evolves. The forum changes, the reasons why people arrive here change, and people (the old-timers) can change. I just don't agree with the 'different crowd' theory
I think soarer makes some good points and his POV as a newcomer is insightful. Its true that, in a lot of cases, the problems we've had have been old-timers fighting, not newcomers.
Though I also see itln's point about the early days (i was lucky to catch some of the serenity of the early period on this site). It was as collegial as itln says. Just a group of hobbyist/consumers discovering new products.
I think population growth is one factor thats changed since then, and introduction of a more diverse set of personalities - I suppose all that is inevitable and comes with a site's success.
In my view another thing that changed radically tho for the site, and introduced structural changes, was the addition of the vendor forums. Vendor forums were a noble experiment, designed to give us closer access to people who could answer our questions. It was great for a while. But maybe it was inevitable that their presence on the site would cause pressure (imagined and real) on the nature of our discussions about products and vendors. I myself dont think it was ultimately good for the site's former consumer-oriented and hobbyist culture. I know they're here to stay though.
Another change was the old-timers eventually exhausting the limited set of mechanical keyboard options, and branching further and further into off-topics. In mid-2008 I think a thread on religion would have seemed weird - in mid-2009 (after explosive population growth on the site), it seemed natural, inevitable, and a welcome diversion from keyboards.
This was both good and bad; it was good cuz it allowed the site to grow organically as a hang-out (and gave us a reputation as an "intellectual" hangout, which is kinda funny for a keyboard site). Was bad cuz a lot of conflict came out of these off-topics too. But they also brought in new contributors (voix for instance) and gave old timers who were done with keyboards a reason to stay.
I suppose most of the changes were organic and unplanned.