Jim, just think of a conversation as halfway between a PM and a group. You can invite up to forty into it and it runs like a group thread. You don't have to put it out on the main forum for all to see. As for the rating system the one big advantage I see is the Mods. will have a way to watch out for real troublemakers. You know, the guys who like to stir the pot just for fun. Or think they are back on the debate team.