I was frankly surprised by the number of comments my initial inquiry received. Most seemed to point out that The Vine is in trouble, and most believe that is a shame. Some, like Enoch, pointed out how The Vine helps them with their work serving others. Others noted that they have enjoyed many sleepless hours on The Vine as they fight insomnia. I was surprised so many do. So here is my initial read on the responses.
1. After a time, people suffer Vine burn out. This is understandable as it happens with most activities that grab our attention.
2. Politics and The Vine are becoming too associated. It appears that if one writes an article on how to raise better roses, it becomes a political issue.
3.Trolls and grenade throwers are driving many away. Both are rude and about as clever as kids calling a store and asking if they have Prince Albert in a can, and when the answer is affirmative, they respond with, "You had better let him out because his mother wants him." In other words junior high school stuff. I sometimes wonder if these are really kids ready to turn off their screen if their mothers come into the room. Maybe some remarks are left by those suffering insomnia and are angry with the universe.
4. Some get upset that authors and seeders are too conservative or too liberal, too many of one stripe or another. I find this strange because anyone can seed an article or write one. If the matter is political or religious in nature, the author should expect disagreement, but the disagreements should be expressed politely. If over time, one finds he really dislikes an author, do not read him. But personal attacks should be avoided. "The value of an idea is not based on the sincerity of the person expressing it" or some such words.
5. Some just like to complain. They come to sites and start moaning or insulting, but never write or seed anything themselves. They act as though they do not like others attempting to do what they cannot, so they attempt to destroy or belittle the efforts of others who are at least trying to make a contribution.
6. Some do not like digressions. Me, I sometimes enjoy them if they are not too long. They are often a relief from a serious discussion and make an article seem more like a real conversation. There are differences between getting a little off track and attempts to derail.
7. The new Beta format, which I have not seen upset more than a few. From what I have read, I do not like the idea of limiting groups or the elimination of "Friends Lists". When I started I thought the Friends Lists were rather insipid; however, over time, my virtual friends have become like unseen pen pals and I enjoy them, even those I usually disagree with on most subjects. Whatever the nature of the new Beta system, there has not been a good job done explaining it or selling it. The new pay system is nuts. You are logged into Newsvine and must sign in again, but then you find your correct email is not correct so are locked out of finding what you should do.