You may be right. But I made the offer very attractive, with no requirement to recoup my costs or my time and all they need to do is come up with the bare minimum the site needs to operate (hosting and the license for the forum software it used, as the previous owner did not include that in the sale and will use it on another forum).
If that has no chance of being accepted then they had no chance of keeping their forum anyway. After all, if nobody else is willing to pay for it the forum would go offline. And in that context this isn't that bad of an alternative, and it's why we will continue to merge forums. At those sizes they just aren't very viable and the network effect and economy of scale of merging can keep a forum online that otherwise wouldn't be, and can help us by making us more diverse and active.
Not everyone will like it (like you, for example, no matter what it is) but that is par for the course. You can't please everyone, and in a forum of 10 people you are liable to have 25 opinions on how the forum should work and just about any
change to a social site generates a bunch of agita. That is just how these things work. For example, every Facebook interface change generates hundreds of thousands of users claiming they hate it and that their use will decline (funny thing is, on able2know a lot of the users I've checked actual stats on for this kind of claim are not accurately accessing their own usage and their use pattern usually remains the same and sometimes even shows growth).
The ones who complain often don't realize that the ones who aren't upset aren't making noise, so they often falsely assume that their reaction is universal (like your royal, if nebulous "we"). Thing is, my goal here is to grow
community, and I am a user myself. I eat my own dog food
, and am my own client. So my motivations are largely aligned with the users. I want to see community viability. The disagreements are about how to achieve it.
And in making such decisions taking feedback from the community is important, but the best feedback from the users is the actual data on use
. Vocal critics can skew the narrative and be absolutely convinced they are right about how the forum should run but I prefer, instead, to listen to empirical data and broader feedback than the self-proclaimed forum revolutionaries. If the data showed that you were right in your claims about the site I'd have reacted long ago. But it doesn't and folks like you are just very vocal, and consistently incorrect, critics. And these will always be with us, and the show must go on despite them.