I got to cheat a bit and be the first person to post a journal entry, since I had a little insider-knowledge about when it would be going up.
But I've already received 3 or 4 "Contact Member" messages on that first article, and from people that I don't THINK I've seen hanging around the message board much. I knew that this feature would be a great way to get people started sharing their thoughts about collecting. In a sense it's quite different then the message boards, in that you have a much stronger place to build up an "identity".
Your user home page gives you a spot where you can not only sound off about your collecting passion, but you can build a real history of your thoughts. People can drop by and truly develop a sense over time of your collecting journey. Who knows, this may even spawn mini "collector celebrities" whose home pages become really popular hot-spots for people to visit for their compelling opinions.
I didn't really think much about the personal "contact member" function, though. But having posted an article, I'm really starting to think that the direct 1to1 feedback this could inspire could lead to alot of great collecting friendships!
I'm envisioning alot more coin/comic show dinner/lunch meetings from this one!