I happen to like "ranks".
However, the giffgaff system is way OTT.
A simple meaning full system based on meaningful contribution would make more sense and give newbies a better idea of who might be responding to to a thread.
I think the ranks should be brought back. This forum urgently needs some form of gamification strategy. There were 2274 members on here before I posted this message. That's pretty woeful compared to where the number of members present used to be.
Total members online at any given time is a bit of a misleading stat to be using. That particular stat is affected on a day-to-day basis by variables that have exactly nothing to do with how "healthy" the community here is. As a quick example, it can be heavily affected by how many members need to visit to get help from the community. That varies a lot depending on service stability (eg December 6th saw a massive spike) amongst other factors.
Returning to the actual topic of Ranks - they are available in the new platform, but what we do (or don't) do with them will be a decision for the community managers (Will, Arletta, Roxy) alongside yourselves - technically there is nothing that needs to be done from a development standpoint.