I know this is a late reply but i ve only seen this thread today so...
I think i mostly agree with kaufmann (=the big negotiator in this discussion) and stryder (and probably others) on this one.
What is the big problem here? Let me try to discuss a few points :
off topic talk : i can understand people can get annoyed when they try to start a serious discussion on the pacers board for example and then it all of sudden becomes a joke and so...; but instead of reading the thread further and getting annoyed you can also just not read the thread anymore from the time you see it s getting off topic; getting off topic really is a normal human being reaction : people want to have fun, laugh and when they remark something funny in a serious subject they wanna share it with other people; that s completely normal and PD would be a rather boring place if no one here would have a sense of humor (which is luckily not the case); my point is, if you see that the thread is going off topic, then JUST DON T READ IT and let other people have their fun
smilies : who doesn t think smilies are fun; eliminating them would make PD not PD anymore : they have become an essential part of this community ( )
the shout box : the shout box is the shout box; i can t believe there are people complaining about someone getting off topic in the shout box, read it s definition for jebus' sake!
post count : it is totally true that the number of posts gives a sort of hierarchy to PD; there s always a risk people are going to judge you regarding whether you re a newby or a long life PD member; hopefully that doesn t happen too much, maybe a good thing that the post count is off the table now
to sum up, the world has never become a worse place if people were a bit more tolerant to each other; and so PD won t either (become a worse place if people were a bit more tolerant to each other)