When the foundation started, the general feeling was that the foundation would provide an online meeting place and members would be able to interact with each other and come up with projects of their own choosing.
This spontaneous self-organization of members never really materialized and in fact many of our loudest and most non-contributory members complained about not having permission or blessing or encouragement or invitation from the board to take a particular action. It was never meant to be that way. We (members) were to come up with ideas and put them into action. If we needed something to help get it done, the board could be a resource (not just financially) to support that. The board had their own projects and the members were to have theirs.
Our forums never turned into an inviting place for people to freely interact. We've had our share of obstructionist members who were given a leash long enough to strangle most other members. This was a mistake. Forum access is not a right.
As Michael puts it, we are really an interest group. We should put certain elements of our digital community into the hands of the members. Is this the forum software we want? It cost a small fortune and I think it sucks. We may want a pretty front page made by a pro, but what about a server with accounts for members to spawn their own sub-sites (like committee work and whatnot).
I don't have a clear vision of what a foundation turned interest group should be, but it should be something like a kitchen. It should be ingredients and ovens and let the members be the cooks. It shouldn't be a hierarchy with everyone standing around yelling at the board to do something. We have the forums…that's a start. But it's like having tomatoes and wanting to make spaghetti…we need a few more ingredients.