I hate smilies and emoticons! I feel that if I use too many, I come off as a bubbly over friendly annoying twit. When I try to cut down on them, I look like a cold heartless person. Is there a common ground, like how many is the right amount to use on a post?? And half the time I use the smile one, people are taking me as sarcastic. Urgh.
I have been on forums since 1998, started out on IRC and moved to MSN Groups in 2003. Long before most of these kind of forums. My first forum was an Import Cars Forum, that was so much fun. So simple. From there it went to animal forums, then to Mommy forums and back to animals. Now I have three forums I visit daily, each different from the other. I can say I've been on at least 20 forums, and settled on a few I like.
No matter what forum you're on, people are always going to get annoyed with you, especially if you act like you actually *gasp* enjoy your time on them. People just get jealous, mostly because they are not the center of attention anymore. I see it everywhere, I have been on both sides. I have been the newbie, I have been the veteran. I have left forums because it got out of control, or information we strived to keep up to date that has been picked apart and torn down. I've seen forums get so out of control, they are not forums anymore. There are other reasons situations like this come up, but from my experience, this is usually the most common.
Myself? I see a forum as a place to gather with people that have the same interests as you, to offer and receive advice, to share stories and to make friends. As long as you are following the guidelines for THAT forum, who cares what certain members think. They don't have to sign in :)