It seems quite elementary to me, my dear Chalice. AO is being "ghettofied" by whomever is running it. Members are certainly not posting as abundantly a year or two ago. The current skin they have is quite the eyesore as well, but that's not such a big deal. The site fails to stay current, thus members don't post.
I'm not stating that this place is completely dead but just a bit off its ballast. If the owners and admins realized this then perhaps strides towards a fruitful future for AnimeOnline would be possible. Or just get rid of the site, because it's becoming painfully less active each day.