This is my fourth day or so of being an advogato member, and I'm still wondering how one goes about becoming a member of the elite inner circle of people who are allowed to post.
Which got me to thinking. What's to keep this site from getting stagnant, inbred, inward-looking, narcissitic (or whatever adjective you'd prefer)?
The advogato mission statement states that this site was created "to serve as a nice, friendly gathering place for all the wonderful people in our community." Is the goal to have a small group of exhalted leaders with soapbox privileges and a large group of lurkers whose role is to bask in the glow of the former group's genius (and celebrity)?
I have sympathy for folks who try to create sites like this: the task of achieving the proper balance between openness and a tolerable signal-to-noise ratio is a daunting one. But the method used here to keep order seems more like something a drug dealer would use to ensure that he's not selling to a narc.
And besides, who is to say that one has to be a seasoned "open source" developer to contribute in a meaningful way? Such a belief is akin to the view that critics have no role in art because they're not artists. There is little correlation (and perhaps less causation) between talent and the ability to critically evaluate such talent.
Of course, this is the obvious argument of the outsider -- why would someone with credentials bother making such an argument? Unless, of course, such a person had the intellectual honesty and sympathy to address the issue. That my position is self-serving should not disqualify it.