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I'm probably talking total rubbish here.
Any community tends to go downhill as it expands. It's just a matter of statistics as to when it becomes a sludge pond. After all, initially it's composed of the founders and a few like-minded enthusiasts. These may well have left an already existing community to found a new one, focused tightly on some specific subject. Or they just want to escape the decay of the old community.
The next stage is the golden age: enough people so there's always something happening, not so many that there's more than the occasional lowlife (there aren't necessarily many, they're just noticeable).
After that, the floo