More apparant than real, I'm afraid, but thank you all anyway. What I have done is to make the 40 open country discussions easier to find by floating them to on top of other discussions that have run their course. I did so by updating the country info with new statistics. So the forum now looks pretty much the way it did on October 22, when all the country overviews and SE listings were published on the same day.
And it has paid off. Yugoslavia, which has been out of sight near the bottom of the forum, got two significant contributions today, one of them from a new user. I had given up hope, so that made me very happy.