Forums whose moderators are wound up too tight end up losing in the long run.
The folks who own this forum (Vertical Scope) also own a myriad of automotive forums... quite an extensive portfolio actually. Well, they bought what was once THE Number ONE forum of a very popular brand of diesel pickup truck. This forum once exceeded all others by a huge margin in terms visits, posts, participation, and traffic.
But with the new ownership, some moderators who were friends of the original owner left the site, leaving another moderator defacto in charge of directing forum traffic (since Vertical Scope staff appear to remain in the background as invisible collectors of the ad revenue, without getting too involved in the day to day dynamics of forums that were already established when they purchased them).
Anyway, this particular moderator's style turned what was once a vibrantly active 1,500 to 3,000 post per day forum... into a 25 post per day ghost town. And it is quite funny to see a lot of the same "regulars" on a different forum, owned by a competitive forum aggregator, which has more of an oligarchic moderator structure, as opposed to individual fiefdoms. And by regulars, I mean folks who've been chatting with each other for almost two decades now. These aren't "one and done" types of sign ups who only come for the silver spooned answer to their immediate question. These are long time contributing and engaged participants... who moved on because their original forum was being destroyed by the overbearing interpretations of one moderator who deleted, excluded, and banned other members repeatedly.
So now he has the forum looking like he wants it. And no one is there. Vertical Scope got a bad deal on that property, even though it was the best property on the net (for that narrow subject matter) at the time they bought it. If OWWM and SawCreek Mill are so restrictive in their admission of new members, then, they simply won't get new members, and the traffic and dynamic interest will turn and flourish elsewhere.