For much of the past year, I've been perceiving the Barony as being in what I can only call a "slump". Not something drastic or dramatic -- just a kind of mild malaise. Some of the symptoms I've noticed have been:
-- Overall, energy has been down.
-- Attendance at the various guilds and practices has dropped a bit, and there hasn't been quite as much creativity and spark as I'm used to, at least on average.
-- Event attendance has been down on average; at some events, markedly down.
-- Recruiting has been relatively weak.
-- Communication has been a bit spotty, on both the formal and informal levels: the various circles that make up the Barony are feeling a little more disjoint than I'm used to.
-- Fewer people have been starting New and Different projects, that get folks really fired up.
-- It's become a bit harder to get people who are interested in various jobs around the Barony (where "job" includes both offices and event-staff roles).
None of these have been startling, and I'm honestly not sure how long this trend has been running. I've been noticing it mainly in the aggregate, especially since the beginning of the year.
I'm looking to start some (preferably calm) discussion of the subject, but the first step is to try and separate out the pure personal bias. This matter is *so* subjective that it's hard to be certain how much of it is real, and how much is just my own perceptions. So I'm asking for opinions from any and all Carolingians: does the above description match your impressions? I'm not (yet) looking for reasons, explanations or cures, just an initial poll of whether folks think there *is* a problem, and what its symptoms are...
Edit (July 30): Okay, folks -- after a bit of thought, I'm going to shut down this thread. Thank you for the opinions, but this is turning into a genuine and far-reaching discussion, and the intent was never to have that here: I do think that the real discussion belongs over on the Carolingian list, which is currently better-suited to it. All I really wanted was a sense of whether there is something worth talking about, and the answer seems to be a fairly emphatic "yes".
Unfortunately, LJ doesn't let me shut down commenting without hiding all the comments. I'm going to do so for a day or so, to let things calm down, then I'll summarize over on the Baronial mailing list, and we can continue there. At that point I'll reopen the comments here, so everyone can have it to review...
Edit (August 3): All right -- having been told about the "freeze" feature, I've applied that instead. The comments are now visible again, but the threads are frozen so that people can't continue the arguments here. Sorry that took so long.
I'm in the middle of writing a letter to the Baronial mailing list. Look for that shortly...