I must admit I was concerned about that also. A very good point. However, in my case, this limited some of the new users from sharing their offers status anonymously (by PM-ing rustyedges, Ruth and/or myself).Allowing new users to engage in conversation and get their questions answered (unless if private) is not going to help benefit the board and other users who might have similar questions.
If and when can bots post on threads/again access to conversations?This also increases the risk of users getting messages from bots. We've got to come up with a different solution.
That sounds feasible, although, I don't know if it's a possibility. Are you thinking something like "25 posts to gain access to profile status" - similar to the hatbox?A solution I have thought of is staff members restricting new users to comment on their profile by limiting their settings.
Sherlock is a changed man after the award. So serious...