Damn, I saw that thread before this one and replied to the topic in the other, so I'll copy and paste here:
I think this is a really good point. And, something else I find interesting, the people who I have known in the hobby the longest are people who tend to not post here much.
I don't mean that as any way a knock on Pinside in any way, but I think that it some ways this comes on because those people who have been around for a long time really know a lot of how things work and what things do, and a site like Pinside tends to regurgitate a lot of the same information. I mean, I haven't been posting lately or reading lately, and when I stop by the majority of threads are things that I have already talked about often before. And, there is this weird thing where often I find that if myself or others that have been around for a long time write a reply about something, our responses will often be dismissed more because we don't post as much.
Or, as some people know I love, because I "only own 2 games."
I think to really stay *in* the hobby, you need to find a local support group and a few people who are really your collecting "mentors" if you will. Ones that will talk with you honestly about what they think of a game, what a game price should be, will pass on deals to you when they find them and aren't interested and who you do the same back to. When you get that, it feels like a community.
Just because of what Pinside is, you've got a TON of people and there is no easy way to do that. If I tomorrow wanted to sell a game and posted it, if it was $1000 under the going rate, people would hop on it to flip it or whatever. And of course they would, it's the internet, why not?
But, even in the last few years, I have had people who knew I was looking for certain games find one and text or call me to say hey, I'm here and they have this game you mentioned you want, it's this price, do you want it? I had a friend relatively recently sell me a BSD for what most people would say was a STUPID good price because he told me I'd have first crack at it at that same price about six years ago when he got it, and he came through with his word. When (I suppose if, as I LOVE that game) I go to sell it, I would pass it on to a friend first for about the same price before listing it here or whatever for way more.
Having that sort of personal relationship is what keeps me in it. I still love to think and share pinball, and I do still come here when I can and enjoy it since I ignore most of the weird stuff, but I think that is what is hard to cultivate if you don't start it somewhere else first.