And to those of you wrestling with kerfluffles and whatnot, I give you The Natural Lifecycle of a Mailing List Community. It has been on the 'net since at least 1992, when I first encountered it and nodded at the truth contained therein. Ten years later, and relatively new-come to online fandom, I still nod my head. I think it is relevant to *any* community, if you switch out the media of communication appropriately.
*hugs* to those who need them.