Now, there's the N&A and the SB crowd. They aren't 1:1 the same, but there's a lot of overlap. The Science and Math forums have some people I honestly haven't interacted with much. LS&R has it's little subgroup, as does DearSB. High Culture has it's own vibe, and then there's FaiD which is it's own little group. And there are people who hang out in one place and never really go anywhere else. General has it's own vibe, sure, but it also pulls from everywhere else on the forum. Really, until a year ago at least, the only place that hasn't really developed it's own feel and community is.. ITC, due to the transient nature of most posters - people post a few times and vanish, or post a few times and then go exploring the rest of the forum and find a home there. So at this point, y'all kinda represent what ICT culture is - because you're the only ones sticking around long enough to make one.
But that's not the majority. You're going to be in a screaming match with someone in N&A about their opinion of X of which you're in complete opposition... and at the same time you're scheduling a time you're both online to play $LatestVideoGame$ in Gaming, or recommending books or movies to each other because you have similar tastes. You're giving advice to someone in LS&R, teaching them how to be in a relationship and they're teaching you to cook in Food.
And FaiD is .. FaiD. Started as a logical outcome of the phrase "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose", it became it's own thing on it's own feet, and all without the power of editing. It's.. hard to describe FaiD. The closest thing is imagine /b/ except it's a bunch of responsible people doing it. And not anonymous. And that's not right either.
Everything's relative, though. The forum I used to frequent (still do, occasionally) has.. last I checked.. about 15 active posters. This one has a couple hundred.
This forum is still small time, as there are forums out there with thousands of active users. Like I said - it's all relative.
At any rate, while I understand that you don't see the forum as being a close community, I disagree. Once your posts hit triple digits, you're assumed to be sticking around for a while and everyone knows you, at least in so far as they recognize the avatar, even if they haven't personally interacted with you. You've also probably read far more than you've posted, so you've gotten an idea of the general culture of the area you're in - SB requires ..not exactly formal arguments, but it does require that you back your claims with sources whenever possible, and refrain from getting overly emotionally involved in the argument. In contrast, High Culture requires that you refrain from calling people "fartknockers" and... that's about it. And that's mostly due to the gay slur of it. "Fartsucker" is fine as it's unisex and pretty removed from sexual orientation.
Yes, the individual areas have their own subculture, but the forum as a whole has it's own culture that permeates all of it, and that's due to the frequent cross-movement of it's posters. Grabbing a user at more or less random (Sorted members by postcounts, went back a few pages, grabbed the first person with an Last Active date of the past few days) - PM 2Ring
. I'll admit that I didn't recognize the name at all, but as soon as I opened the profile, "Oh, that guy. I know him. Or her. I forget. Whatever."
A third of that user's posts are in Science. And yet, the thread they've posted the most in is.. a thread in General.
Steax, a few down.. a quarter of his time in Gaming, and a quarter of that time in the Minecraft thread. Yet the guy's still in General, in Coding, in N&A...
headprogrammingczar - spends a quarter of his time in Gaming, most posts in a Coding's Fleeting Thoughts thread.
The point I'm trying to get at is that it is a lot like a city. Cities have neighborhoods and how things are done in one neighborhood is going to be a little different than in another. But you run in to people at other neighborhoods when you go to the grocery or a sporting event or a concert or whatever. And no, not everyone goes to the same grocery or concert or sport events or park, but provided you move about a little, you're going to be no more than three steps, probably just two or one, from every other active poster here. I'm posting in here, which means you're one step away from .. pretty much everyone in High Culture and General, as those are the places I frequent the most.