This site is intense in the amount of requests it sends per page, the amount of graphics used and a couple other issues. Getting your browser to properly cache could help the situation quite a bit, depending on how often you visit and how the caching is set up. It definitely isn't the most optimized site around - the main reason being that it is a general community that is flexible for people to set up their networks, but slow speed is one of the side effects of that.
Derek, and all, if you have suggestions that I am capable of implementing, please let me know. Personally, most of my time in here is dialing up with a Sprint/Nextel USB modem, so it all seems slow to me :(
Terry, the two absolutely BEST things you can/should be doing to improve the speed and performance of this social network would be:
1. Reducing the number of image calls. This social network is Imagery Central! That's part of its charm and appeal, but it really, REALLY s--l--o--w--s----d--o--w--n the performance of the site. Any little cutesy/kitchey graphics that are doing nothing to really help the site and it's community should probably go by the wayside. Also, if you've ever heard the old saying that "a picture is worth 1,000 words," that also very-much holds true when it comes to web sites. The "average" image on the web can consume the same amount of bandwidth as 30 written pages (screenfuls) of text. This page that I am replying in alone has 53 images totaling 787 KB of bandwidth. WAY, WAY too much, in my opinion.
...or finding a person who knows what they are doing and also LOVES disc golf (wink wink, nudge nudge) to help you out. I could try and walk you through some of the basics to look out for, as well as some of the techniques for lopping-off a lot of file size with a minimal amount of effort! However, it'd probably be more efficient to turn an optimization addict loose and spend an hour or two per week going through your image folders and saving a crazy amount of bandwidth, file size and download time on your behalf. I wouldn't charge a dime if you wanted me to help out with that...although a little cheap/free plastic to help advance my game from time to time would obviously be appreciated. ;)
You need somebody to police what's ending up on your site from a graphics standpoint. Otherwise, you end up with a situation like I blogged about, where you've got a 400+ KB 40x40 pixel image where a <2 KB image should be found. Not good...ESPECIALLY if you're on dial-up, mobile connections or slower cable/DSL connections.