I kinda had an epiphany. First, I got an invite to ello, a new social network that promises to be ad-free because facebook shows ads and that's what makes it evil.
Then I read the ello goodbye article about how ello is already evil because they've accepted so much venture capital money that every user has to be considered a metric, something to sell later so the investors get their return.
someone reddit compared "free" social networks to farms that give "free" food and shelter to their cows and pigs... sure those animals get a great life. but the farm has plans.
that's when I realized that if I'm going to contribute ideas I DID know of a community that had been around and was well-established and was not furthering any corporate agenda... mine. and it was sad that I was wondering about its place in the world of giant social networks.
so I ran updates, got us back into google, posted some topics, and with just that little bit of effort the number of active users doubled in about two weeks. We brought back the career advice forum and launched a pregnancy forum to reach out to everyone who uses my statistics pages and that section is starting slowly, but it's an experiment.
I'm still on ello too, it's a nice network where I'm making some friends. But it is not a magical unicorn sent to free us from facebook. It'll be its niche, and that's fine. But there's a place for the independent forum in this world.