First of all let me say that I am a donor member to eGullet and really would love to see that board revive and become a bit more relevant and active, but sadly a lot of the forums seem to be dying. I don't want to rip on a fellow food board (the more the merrier), but I find that I check it fewer and fewer times each week -- and I am a person who actually paid to support them.
Don't get me wrong. That board has a treasure trove of information and passionate moderators, but in another year or so it seems as if a lot of the boards will simply fall behind too much and lose that information advantage it may once have had. I've even seen moderators from eGullet prompting topics to spur discussion -- not a good sign.
The cooking and baking boards will continue to have significant value as cooking techniques are more stable, but boards that rely upon changing products or tastes seem to be falling victim to a slavish mentality of merging topics to ancient threads. The number of times I have seen a good discussion get linked to a 5- year- old thread is crazy. That is fine if one is talking about making a specific dish or cooking technique, but when talking about kitchen consumer products, it makes no sense as products change quickly these days -- and no one wants to read through hundreds of old posts. I've seen several threads where a specific (and good) question has gotten buried in an old thread and old post title. Merging is fine, but merging to an very old discussion can be useless.
The cookware forum is clearly falling way behind and not very active. The beverage section on eGullet seems to be better, especially the spirits portion. Cooking and baking still have great information, but I suspect there are better baking sites out there now such as The Fresh Loaf. And people like Chad Ward have come out of eGullet and produced valuable books, but I haven't seen them post very much. Fred's Cutlery forum and Knife forums are better places for knives.
Anyhow, do other people think eGullet is losing relevance in the food discussion? I recently spoke with a respected emeritus member and former moderator and it wasn't a very pretty picture I got.