I've seen this occasionally, and it tends to be associated with heavy load on the servers. If the query times out trying to read the date/time of your last visit, it seems to store a default date in your session, and all the messages show as "new" until your session times out.
"These people looked deep within my soul and assigned me a number based on the order in which I joined." - Homer
I take it there's a whole bunch of enhancement ideas etc in the to-do list, so I was wondering, have you considered opening some of them as open source development projects?
What I'm thinking of is that if there are specific, isolated things to be designed, coded and so on, this kind of task could be opened on the site and (possibly selected) members could join it to create the functionality.
Don't know, but I would guess that there would be interest in this kind of collaboration.
One possibility is that the end result could also be an article stating the problem, discussions about the implementation and of course the result code.
Now that is a good idea. But this would require all of the code to be open - you can't just make a bit of it open and not the rest.
I think there were some people who were allowed to make changes already (Mike Dunn or Paul Watson come to mind, as they had the site builder CP icon next to their name). This could also be a first step: promote some good willing followers to site editors (again).
I think words like 'destiny' are a way of trying to find order where none exists. - Christian Graus
Do not feed the troll ! - Common proverb