I seem to remember another site feeling like it didn't need the approval of its users. Last I checked, that site's comments had drastically fallen off into being about as useful in the scope the site aimed to pertain to as posts on AOL forums.
There's a lesson to be learned in there somewhere, and I think NCommander is on the right track.
SoylentNews is People!
As a counterpoint, I know of another site that was pretty good, and I contributed there for a while.
Then the owner started on a kick about wanting more input from the users for site decisions.
Kuro5hin.org is now just an Internet backwater site.
I'm concerned that SN will suffer the same fate.
Fair point. It would seem that the sweet spot, as it were, is somewhere in between despotism and willy nilly democracy. From what I've seen, we've been thus far not straying too far to one side or the other here...there's a core of folks involved in executive tasks, some that take direction a bit in the form of editing or other general labor, and then the majority of us plebs that need to be whipped and prodded just to go vote on the site name.
But yes, leaders, don't be afraid to lead. You can be sure we'll be happy to let you know when you're doing it wrong.