And I think it's important that newer people get to chat in real time about these things, too - however minor or major. that's how people get to 'know' each of other on the Boards - and get to suss people who have kids at the same stage of weaning, sleeping etc etc.
MY plea would be for seasoned 'oldies' not to greet threads with 'uh oh, be careful, this could be contentious, lets stop this now...' for e.g there have been loads of really constructive calm threads about GF recently - just because some folk got aereated in the past doesn't mean that current talkers can't have a great discussion.
I'm not keen on blanket discussion stoppers like 'here come the *** police/brigade/mafia', either. An opinion is an individual opinion.
And as for people who hijack threads...well! Oops, have I hijacked your thread, Cod?
People do like to talk about things in "real time" as Blu says. I had 5 books on baby development, all the info I needed was there, but I still wanted to chat to my friends or sister about stuff I already had the gen on (didn't have Mumsnet then). I think it's helpful if people post a reminder to search the archive too.
I do agree up to a point coddy- I do think there are times when it is useful and productive to have the same discussion, but there are times when I could post on a thread (like Disneyland Hotels, for example- I'm not getting at you Hula, just the most recent example that came to mind) but I just think I've given my opinion so many times before I'll bore everyone witless if I say it again. However, because I hate it when people say "oh we've done all this before" I get myself stuck!