Display files in searches and browsed shares only to people who share
There has been a lot of debate in the past about non-sharers and banning. I feel like the amount of non-sharers on the program is out of control. I realize I could switch my files to userlist only, but I have had open shares since 2001 or 2002. There is also the option to make private files available in the searches and when people browse you. That effectively seems like trading access to me. I wouldn't want to receive hundreds of "can you please add me?" type of requests daily. I don't want a userlist of thousands of users. I want to share my files freely with everybody...but only with people who actually make an effort to share. Why should people who actually share not have access to my files?
While there are multiple options for people to restrict their files, there's really nothing that people like myself with open shares can do about the non-sharers. They eat up a substantial amount of bandwidth. It has been stated in the past that 26% of users have no files shared. It's probably closer to 40% in my case. I typically see 150-200 of those empty share warnings sent out on a daily basis. This doesn't even include the people who have empty folders set up (who apparently don't receive the messages) or people who are sharing only their Qt/imageformats or samples folders. I do think the empty share warnings convert some people into file sharers who "forget" to add their folders. Let's be honest, though. There's little incentive for many people to share anything. If they get banned/unshared, they just move on to the next person. For every 1 person who may eventually set up their shares, there's 10 more who join the program and share nothing. It's a never-ending cycle. I would imagine the percentage of non-sharers stays about the same.
My suggestions would be to show no search results to the people who have no files shared. This could be a user set option like the private shared files. They could have a message displayed in the search results encouraging them to share with instructions on how to do it. If somebody browses your files and has nothing shared, they could receive the same message. I think it would be a win-win situation if more people had the incentive to share. I would bet that the amount of non-sharers would drop significantly and more people who restrict their files to userlist only would be more open to sharing with everybody.