I may be going to regret this... but here goes:
I think I can see what Ovey is getting at here. I think think it might be useful to use the analogy of Ribnet as a local pub, an analogy that has often be used in these hallowed pages to explain to newbs who struggle with their initial posts.
It's open to all, and you're free to buy a pint and grab a seat in an alcove and observe the regulars chatting about their day, arranging to meet up for a round of golf (metaphorically speaking obv), and all the other chit chat that goes on. If you pipe up to ask about the local area, what the best route to the next town is, or where's best to buy a house; you'll get lots of advice from regulars. Most will advise you to buy a house in the same area as them, but will probably admit that most of the other areas round about are nice enough as long as you understand what you're buying. There are also certain areas which are pretty much no-go as far as the regulars are concerned because the developer building new houses in that area sent a bunch of shills in a while back to tell everyone how wonderful their new houses were.
This is all fine. I think the difficulty arises when you've been sat in your alcove for a couple of years, maybe piping up occasionally on specific issues, but you start to feel you might have something to offer the next newb who comes from in door; after all you've lived in the area for a couple of years, you bought a house which you quite like, you maybe realize there are some positives and negatives to your particular area, but you feel like you might have something to offer. So you offer your opinion only to be shouted down by the regulars because you haven't been there long enough or you haven't owned enough boats (sorry but this analogy was getting laboured some time ago), or you make some vaguely contentious statement.
This state of affairs means two things: firstly that newbs will get a pretty narrow view because they'll be hearing the views of a vocal minority to the exclusion of anyone else, but also that once the vocal minority 'retires' and goes off to do something else, who will be left to offer help and advice?
I've been here 2 years now; I've received some great advice, had some invaluable help, and met (IRL) some very nice people ( no names, no pack drill, you know who you are). But I do sometimes feel that Ribnet isn't as 'inclusive' (hate that word, but couldnt think of another) as it could be. It seems on occasion like there's a tendency to 'gang up' on dissenting voices.
And this isn't an attack on any particular member, just an observation about the Ribnet hivemind. It might be better for the long-term health of the forum to be more accepting of other voices. Just a thought.