Thank you for the note - I hope you I can answer some of your questions!
First off, we do occasionally have to ban people.
It's super rare but it does happen.
I'm afraid Papinian fell into that category. Although he could be very insightful and very useful (some of his replies were extremely detailed and considered) he upset so many people that we ended up closing his account. It was not a decision we took lightly, and he had a lot of warnings, but I felt I couldn't defend his posts in the interests of "free speech" any longer.
As far as the general activity on the site is confirmed we've been a bit of a victim of our own success. We actually have more posts and more users than ever but we've spread the activity out so it's easier to find and that's meant that it feels more spread out.
A good example of this is that nanny/buying/selling/childcare posts don't appear in the newsfeed anymore as they were clogging the "latest posts" sections and another is that lots of companies will use the site to "announce" news and events that don't then lead to discussions as there isn't much discussion around these types of posts and so they tend to get posted, get read but then don't stimulate discussion.
We're looking at whether we need to hive these off into separate sections, or whether we need to restrict this sort of activity, and it's a big part of our current product discussions.
Thank you, as always, for your comments and hopefully this has helped!