What do you believe is the best way to command respect as an admin of an online community? Do you think that an admin who adopts a distant attitude and very rarely participates in the main discussions and instead focusses exclusively on meta-site related stuff is an admin who'll gain respect?
Or do you believe that an admin always have to participate and relate with members on a personal basis to gain loyalty and respect.
My opinion is that it depends on the community size. A large community can get away with less dependence on the admin while smaller communities definitely need admin participation and involvement to get members to become loyal.
But ultimately a community can only prosper when members feel a sense of responsibility towards the community and this can only happen when admins give them respect and treat people as people and not as stats (post and thread counts).