I lurked for years from '99 on, largely because I didn't have a computer or regular access to being online.
That finally changed 4 years ago. Meatn3 was born and I dove right in!
There are a few posters I recognize from way back. It seems to be that 3-5 years is the average that a poster stays active (posting with regularity). There will always be the one-hit wonders who jump in once and move on, but I'm curious about those who were quite active and then you just don't hear from them much if at all. Nature abhors a vacuum, so there always seem to be new voices joining the party and making the absence of others less noticeable.
I've found I've cut back a bit. A certain amount is due to the cyclical nature of the posts leading to a "been there, done that" situation. I've said what I needed to on many things (cast iron for example ;-D) and don't feel inclined to revisit the topic. Also, with the economy and my wallet, I'm not eating out as often - so less to add to the party.
But I still find new things to explore, new voices to hear and new things to try. My life has been enriched on many levels from giving spirit of Chowhounds!
Is my experience typical? What is the average length of time a poster stays active? Just curious!