Thank you to everyone who has replied. I was actually a little worried about posting as I didn't want to come across as overly critical, so I'm pleased people have seen it in the spirit it was intended.
Just a few comments on things people have said:xSP
I do agree that new members would be great. We do seem to get people signing up but then a) never post at all or b) post one or two times and then disappear. I do agree that it is sometimes harder to join and get involved in a small forum, it's like walking into a party alone where everyone else already knows each other. Even for the most extrovert of people that can be difficult. I'm purely hypothesising here but I wonder if there is a critical membership level where this doesn't happen? I feel perhaps at the moment we are below that level.
What kind of member do you think is better suited to this forum? Someone who wants to talk about religion and atheism or someone who wants community and wants to talk about whatever?
To answer this directly. I don't see why it can't be both, like OG
said we used to have people who were part of both camps, gradually we've evolved more into a general forum. Maybe there is no problem with that, in that case maybe the whole forum needs rebranding? This might help with the new members, if people sign up thinking it's an atheist forum (I imagine most people find us by googling 'atheist forum' after all) but then see very little discussion on atheism itself but more on what movies people have seen it may put them off joining in. On a personal level I wish we'd go back to more of an atheist forum, I genuinely don't mind all the small talk too as an extra but I miss the intellectual debates. Perhaps I personally need to find a different forum.Asmo
maybe you think Atheism as a topic is dead and all there is to say has been said. It makes me wonder why so many other atheist forums are flourishing though? Again, maybe I just need to join one of these.Ecurb
I don't think people have to be uncivil or act as jerks to spice things up. That's really not what I was suggesting. Although as an aside, when looking around at other forums I did find an ex-members (well someone using the same username anyway) who were considered ban worthy here but they are actually making positive contributions on other forums. Buddy
I don't think there is anything wrong at all with having a close knit group of online friends. I just don't know why that would need to be threatened by having more active people here. I find meeting new people from different ways of life interesting but maybe that's again a personal thing to me.Firebird
I think it would be interesting to hear from ex-members. Of course people are entitled to leave, they have lives outside the forum and people do change and drift away. Could be worth seeing if there's a theme though.Magdalena
I too find it interesting that only one Christian has stuck around. Maybe a change in goal is required to meet the new style forum.
I don't know what the answers are. I didn't post this with all the answers in mind and I didn't know if others felt the same way or not.