It does seem to me, and do correct me if I'm wrong @t_will, that giffgaff are happy with the way GD is as it drives traffic to the site. The plethora of subjects and external links posted, which are usually topical, are picked up by search engines and promote giffgaff's pages' listings in the search results.
Missed this in my initial post, sorry - yes, I'm sure traffic gets driven to the site. But sheer volume of traffic isn't a good thing - the content that draws people to the site needs to be engaging and make people interested and want to stay. We're not in the business of just putting any old crap up just because it gets clicks - the businesses that are set up that way do it because it gets eyeballs on their adverts, and even they don't do very well if people don't stick around.
Also - what's with the doom and gloom attitude, folks? I've been in this thread asking for more information and trying to work with you and you're already resigned to thinking change won't happen? Come on, I want substantive content as much as you do, but it's not going to happen if all we do is sit around and say 'it won't happen'
I gave up on GD when a staff member commented the following about those threads:
".. the topics themselves is nothing bad, in fact it's great that someone is opening up these kind of discussions to get to know the community at large. Having a different variety of topics for people to choose what to talk about is what the GD board is all about."
"....they have replied to their threads, which is a good thing. It keeps the conversation alive and kicking."
General discussion has been a bit of a weird place for several years. I've not visited it for months because I couldn't be bothered trawling through "what's your favourite flavour of crisp" threads to find something worth reading and discussing.
We all know that the allure of payback gets people posting, so some (many) people head to general discussion simply to boost their post count/activity on this site.
I for one will be keeping away from general discussion because it's not interested me for a long time, and by the sounds of it, it's got worse!