Re: Cliques, crews, niches, and the like...
I've been a member of this forum for almost four years and I feel like I barely know anyone here. I've seen the same usernames and avatars day in and day out for this amount of time and I still feel this way. I just read a C4C article and saw the author's name and had no idea who, on the forum, it was. I shouldn't have tackled this as my first point of regards, so I'ma digress to the next points.

Re: C4C
Fucking good for you guys! Who wouldn't want our fellow Rangers fans to watch, analyze, and write about hockey in a manner that the BSBH member can appreciate. We're not talking about poorly written articles with misplaced hype...we're talking about passionate writing, excellent vocabularies, and a knack for piquing the interest of the casual fan, but indulging the true fan.

I hated C4C initially, but I couldn't tell you why. Once I moved past that, I was able to appreciate the blog, why it was made, and how it is able to move the forum forward, as well as the potential careers of the contributors. (Yeah, blowjobs are available after the show, just fucking pay me).

With regard to its integration to the forum, it's handled perfectly fine; excerpts from articles posted as a C4C user is fine.

Re: Persecution by the moderating team
I have never seen this done, but I'ma make a suggestion...after I give more of a preface. I've been posting on forums since 2001: small forums with literally 10 people, all the way up to forums with tens of thousands of users. I run my own phorum, which is utter shit and gets no traffic, and I don't do what I'm going to suggest, but here's a suggestion that might mitigate what some may feel is the persecution by mods...

...Re: Moderation
How heavily does this forum need to be moderated? How many reported posts are there that require moderation?
Is the moderating team doing more infracting/moderating than deleting spam?
I ask these questions because 1) my suggestion is to make a moderator account (something I've never seen done, and something I don't do on my own shitty phorum) and only infract and communicate with members from this account.
This will eliminate any perception that one particular moderator might have it out for someone, and it also will remove the need for blue and red names.

I'd argue that if the forum were to employ this idea, you'd avoid the risk of members feeling persecuted. The moderating team can still moderate, but the correspondence to members from mods would be from the forum's mod account, not from Future, Drew a Penalty, Phil in Absentia, etc.
Hell, there's a whole moderator forum where you guys could concoct the response together and come across as a board of directors, not an individual with an agenda.

For the record, I've never felt the personal persecution from moderators against myself, nor have I witnessed any personal agendas being carried out through moderation, but if this is a point of contention, and it's been brought up in the past, then there's fire...because the smoke already exists.

I don't really have a conclusion and I don't really want to be much of a part of this conversation, so...

/.02