I've been thinking about this discussion topic for a while and would really like to know everybody's thoughts. Please Note: When I say "the doll community" in this discussion, I am referring to the community at large, or various subcommunities in general (e.g. different forums, meetup groups, livejournal communities and interactions, etc.) and not to the Den of Angels forum or its specific policies. Therefore, when you answer, please make your comments general and do not use this post to debate the policies of this particular forum. That's not what I'm getting at (Den of Angels is just one part of the BJD community experience) and debating board policy is disallowed by the rules anyway. 1) On the whole, do you think the BJD community or social aspects of the community are ever detrimental to your collecting and enjoyment of dolls? People have mentioned positive aspects to the community as being a good place to get information, a nice way to meet fellow collectors, a way to police against fraudulent sellers, etc. And people have also mentioned negative aspects to the community as being either elitist or too large/inclusive, as excluding certain dolls and aspects of their enjoyment, as sometimes being negative or critical, as being too focused on price. Even if you think that community activities and socializing with other collectors is, on balance a good thing, are there significant negative aspects and how have you addressed them in your doll activities (if at all)? 2) Another thing to consider is that for many people, dolls may be intended as an escape from the pressures of having to deal with other people daily in work, school or social settings. To what extent does community/socialization simply bring the same pressures back to bear in what was intended to be a fun "break"? 3) What role do you think socialization/ community should play in the BJD hobby? Some of the roles people have suggested in the past that a community should play include the following: - Provide places and events for people to meet such as forums, meetups and events, etc. - Be welcoming and helpful to all people interested in the hobby - Provide some quality control by screening "undesirable" people and practices - e.g. by discouraging people who are just interested in dolls as a fad, who don't want to do research, who buy cheap or substandard products, who are trying to make quick money, etc. - Provide helpful training and critique on how to do things such as faceups, clothes, selecting and buying dolls - Provide moral guidance, for example by emphasizing that practices like scalping and copying are wrong and not tolerated 4) In light of your answer to (3), what role do you think the community actually DOES play? Is it pretty close to the role you think it SHOULD play, or is it different? I look forward to reading your thoughts. I have my own opinions on all of the above but I don't think there's any "right" answer, I am just interested in people's experiences of community.