funny, Jim...I walked into FSGW years ago and stuck my nose into everything I could...and the 1st Getaway I went to, I was on the planning committee...and by my 2nd Getaway I was co-chair!...Sure, any time you enter ANY group you will find clots of people who know each other and hang out together a lot..(is that what a 'clique' is?)
But FSGW, just like Mudcat, is easy to crash...just like music, DO music, talk about it ...and try not to be a total dork *wink*..(that's a BIG *wink* and *grin*)
Mixing into new group configurations is always fraught with perils, and this 'virtual community' thing is pretty new, with only partially formed traditions so far.
I do know that as people move and grow older, FSGW,even though it has a lot of 'members', has a much smaller 'core group' than it used to, and the Getaway has been hard pressed to stay near the critical mass needed to make such a gathering work, and frankly, in my opinion, Mudcat and new faces..(and their $$$$) have been the salvation of the Getaway!..Sure, it could limp along for years, but folkies are sorta outnumbered in this world, and we need all the contacts and cross-pollenization we can muster.
I have no idea what the relationship between FSGW and Mudcat and other folkie groups will be in 5-10 years, but I have heard some VERY interesting ideas...I look forward to the debate/discussion.