I also get what you are saying and I agree , this board is very different than the one that I joined what seems like such a short time ago.
The people who were here , for the most part are no longer, the moderation team that we knew has added new members and the tone of the board has gone through several different shifts .
While new members have come and gone, many of the former long time members were kind of lost in the shuffle and at times over run with the new comers or driven away.
Some of the discussions that took place and the sometimes hard line approach taken toward some negative behaviors is different now than it used to be.
I don't post nearly as much as I once did, for many reasons , in part due to my own physical limitations, and due in large part to the feel of the board. I usually only respond to threads where I really feel that I can help somehow, other than that, I read and stay quiet.
At times , it appears very clique-ish here, and almost to huggy. I don't mean to make it sound negative, because for obviously more of the members than not, it appears to be how the forum seems to want it these days, but there is a tradeoff in that the content and the information that was found here, is not here as much anymore, but rather, it's more like facebook , rather than a forum that deals with the disease called chronic pain.
The board used to be full of more content, ie links to things that addressed specific problems or programs I think is what you mean.
I suppose what I have to say isn't going to win me any friends, now, but I tend to think like you that this place has changed and not necessarily for the better.
So, the answer to your question is yes, I consider myself an "old timer", maybe not in length of time registered compared to some of the others who were here then but definately in length of time lurking and posting and I know that others have left for the very reasons that you asked about and yes, I have felt squeezed out because I am not part of the clique.
I have thought about fading away myself, and probably will very soon. I just don't feel comfortable the way that I once did .
It took courage to say what you did and to ask the hard questions that you asked. Stones should not be thrown but rather the moderators should ask themselves if all of the huggy stuff belongs on a chronic pain forum that used to be known for its information and resources, as well as the knowledge of it's participants.
Do any of the "old timers" feel "squeezed out" lately? I know I feel a change in the "air" here and I wondered if others feel it too. It is as if the "old timers" aren't being seen or appreciated for their perspectives like they once were. I miss all of the people who were here for so long. I miss their perspectives and their independant opinions. I miss their healthy debates and their personal contributions.
At one time, I could come to HW at any time of the day or night and find "friends" who understood and supported each other. Oh, don't get me wrong....there a still a few left who provide support and care, but it seems to me (just my opinion) that many of the veteran members are being "cast" away. Perhaps I am wrong and will just fade away with the others who have gone. I still lurk, but I don't post much now and I miss the "conversation" and the "understanding" of the group. CP is difficult even without added stressors.