Right I should probably respond as I let this one fly on Sunday night when I was in a little bit of a mood. Some great and thought provking posts in here and interesting to see different peoples views chrystalise and indeed change over time.
First of all the thread title - yes it is deliberate hyperbole - the bonus forums are not dead (or certainly not rpoints pre MSE closuregate dead anyway) but they are in long term decline.
Secondly I was being very specific and referring to the two main bonus sub forums and not the rest of the site or chatbox - I am not bemoaning the death of TGT - in many ways the site is in decent health although it has changed a lot from when I arrived here nearly 4 years ago - I am discussing the change in the use of the main bonus posting forums and few could argue this has declined drastically as recently as the last few months.
I do think the advantage play does not reward co-operation theory to be slightly flawed myself. Yes posting an offer for a small book to the wolves of MSE is not a great idea but I think contextually here with the current TGT community and perhaps more specifically the current pricing plan, posting an offer here is unlikely to kill it - certainly no more then it ever did. The argument that sharing books kills bonuses is as old as the hills (and indeed lorraine brought up the old debate from our previous history together) - thing is I'm not persuaded that things have really changed that dramatically in say the last couple of years to suggest this is a true thesis.
Promotions eb and flow and are as dictated by a books marketing strategy and financial conditions as much as they are by attempts to prevent bonus abuse. The days of the 5xb/10b BJ bonus are long dead but they were long dead 3 or 4 years ago in relative terms I would argue that there has not been a huge decline is sports bonuses in the last few years - indeed some books offer more frequent and generous offer then they once did (it wasn't that long ago when a Betfair bonus was almost unheard of, 365's regular £50 live freebies are a new recurring entry in the last 12 months, a few years ago Hills were certainly not offering £20 of risk free EV on almost each and every week). New books come and new books go - I've posted about the symbiotic and yet potentially destructive relationship between new entrants and bonus hunters before. The different I'm considering here is that recently people have very pointedly stopped using this particular bonus forum to post them and discuss them.
This is what I think is a shame. I think chat actually works very well and still gives a sense of community. I do miss some of the old crowd who have drifted away, maybe I'm just semi obsessed or have failed to have a spectacular falling out with another member (been there done that, still occasionally comes back to haunt me lol) but post TB monologue chat seems to function fine. I do think its a shame that useful info however now is just posted on chat and the main forum often gets forgotten where different strategies and ideas can be archived and referred to later - we share information for the long term and not just the short.
In answer to lottes point about my behaviour on posting - I did refer to this in my original post but to clarify I have continued to post on the forums but I'm not prepared to play mother hen and carry on regardless when everyone elses behaviour has changed. If no-one else is doing it then even my altusistic side (and I'll admit I do have one - hence some arguments from the past) gets jaded.
Its not all bad by any means though - to take lotte's second point about the last post here that made me money - that promo code for football pools/vernons that was posted the other week from a phone call someone had but worked on all accounts would be the first example that sprang to mind. And interestingly despite the paranoia some feel, that promo was not pulled and the post didn't turn up at MSE. I think the community here now is perhaps a little different to what some people think it maybe - afterall those of us on free membership have been here now for a very long time and as Andy has pointed out before for most people this game has a limited lifespan. Those who are paying now are paying quite a bit - the freeloaders don't tend to pay high membership fees in my opinion.
Posting arbs - well thats free choice for members really and I can see good arguments not to do it. Although on the other hand not a huge amount different to using oddsmonkey you might suggest (paid) and the price comparison between here and there is getting so I guess it depends on both your good will and perhaps more tellingly what you think you might get out of it.
I would like to see the admin here take a greater role in the bonus forums and more posts on new offers. The community can do so much but I think this might give impetus to a renewed interest myself in the actual forums. I did think that the France/England round up was very useful for example. I'd also like to see more discussion about different stratgies in playing offers and peoples results. I always find Andy's slightly unscientific but nicely played strategies an interesting point for jumping off into further discussion.
Hmmm I dunno - this is a discussion forum, primarily for discussing AP bonuses - I guess at the end of day I'd like a little more discussion again, although I do understand and respect people's reasons for not doing so to the degree they once did.