I welcome the honest effort and initiative by the Lead Editor. I hope LE has the briefing, support , concurrence and mandate from the editorial team,ME/WMs.
The reason for my doubt stems from our experience in ISC all these years. In and out it was categorically made clear that Forum is not that important because forum does not have a good earning potential for ISC. Members like Mohan, Sun, myself and a few others were and are ardent forum supporters and our presence is mostly in forum. In our various threads periodically we were voicing for the encouragement of forum section. There were many threads expressing concern that Forum section is becoming less active, good quality threads and discussions are becoming less etc.
K Mohan had his forum footer expressing his ardent support and priority to Forum section. He had declared that he hadearned his adsense revenue solely from Forum section.
Somewhere at sometime in the past,there was obvious/ veiled attempt to derate, isolate and discourage forum section participants. When such an attempt was evident, even I came up with stringent worded response in support of forum and defending active forum participants.
The discouraging efforts showed up in the quality and quantity. As a sequel reaction to the results, the forum section was slowly given some revival and encouragement by the implementation of the revised TOW contests, giving better and more frequent CC.
However after sometime, from the various thread-many of them involving vilifications, allegations, and frontal attacks- getting life and indirect encouragement forum section started giving a wrong signal that controversy and controversial discussion is the bet for more hits and acceptance.
I have always stood the stand that Forum section is like the entrance lobby, where any body who comes in meets all others and become familiar and exchange a lot. It is the decider of further activities. It is a sample of all the foot falls and footprints. An attractive lobby will encourage more to come in.
Most people join ISC with a hope of getting money. The main page of iSC also promotes that hope.
However when a new entrant finds that the lobby is not the place where he gets benefit, either he withdraws or proceeds to the inner spaces, simply whizzing past the lobby. Thus the Forum section has become a temporary familiarising place for new entrants and an occasional place for some random chat for others.
That is why LE has to observe : "it is to be seen that once members spread their wings to contribute in other sections, most of them tend to keep away from the forum entirely. ".
A few members(like this scribe) who do not have a prime aim of cash credits, and fresh members till they find other areas of focus, still linger on with forum as far as possible.
Why would others spend their precious time, efforts incurring input costs when the same is not rewarding? A point to ponder.