I appreciate that. As you say, outside the trade there are some amazing talents.
A genuine interest in something is, I think, the number one factor that interests me when interacting with folks. Some of the best craftsmen will talk all day about how to do xyz, but many more have no interest in talking about what they do, or just want everything to stay the same. Not my idea of stimulation.
And those super DIY talents who just like to do their hobby stuff, I am fascinated by how they approach painting, and their perspective.
Enthusiasts pro or DIY will read more than any average pro, most of who are going through the motions 8-5, so it is daft to cut any of the interested out your sphere, just because they choose not to be professional painters and decorators. They have a lot of questions and set the mind ticking with their different perspective.
I go on different sites dedicated to running websites, because I have to keep this puppy going, and you are invited to ask questions in the comments. It is how the internet works! Someone writes and someone keeps the conversation going. I have to say, nobody on a theme site for instance, has ever said, not answering your question, you aren’t a theme developer. It never even crosses my mind I won’t be welcome to comment.
But when you go on forums of any description, (decorating, theme building, match stick whittling), the forum is still just a platform set up to encourage debate, but you have to read the blurb to see if you are allowed in. Its a different mind set I suppose, but I don’t see that if I allow comments on the main site, why I would prohibit genuine folks from asking similar questions on a different part of the site.