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This should not be happening. Is there a serious glitch in the member registration/logging process here?
No, it isn't a glitch. We don't tally numbers, only active members are carried on the rolls. The files are purged periodically, so if someone hasn't posted for a few months chances are the membername will no longer be among active members.
Posts don't count in the local category, but if you join in discussions and participate, you'll be able to keep your membership active.
Glad you're back with us.
As has been pointed out here, I posted to [webmasterworld.com...] in 2001. I believe I made other posts in my previous memberships (always as "orlady"), but I don't remember them specifically (the experience was not so intensely exciting as to have become permanently imprinted in my memory ;-) ). Although my post in that old thread seems to have been deleted, the last post in that thread still refers to it ("Orlady is right though ... and you should head her advice."), and I believe I could do a pretty decent job of reconstructing the advice I gave back then.
So: I joined and posted here, then stopped posting and my membership was expunged, but subsequently I have joined twice again, always under the same name. How has this protected me?
It would create an extra burden trying to cater for people that register, post a few times and then leave (and I am speaking generally here). From an administrative point of view, I imagine that purging the member name file is an advantage for the system.