This "most of the readers have moved on" problem is probably because they use the individual sections rather than the newest nodes page (just an observation).
Perhaps if we pointed out to new people how useful it is and more people used it, the inital posts wouldn't get such a boost from being early.
I know that if I had to trawl through converstaions I'd already read looking for new bits, I would miss an awful lot of good stuff.
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