i don't care what's in your hair
The way I see it, someone could have made an "Appreciate the User Above" thread in Other Trivia and it would have gone along quite fine. I can see something like this in the vein of the Dear Anon thread working out well... at least it's worth a try anyway.
About the alternative of sending VMs and PMs, yes that could work, but it should be worth noting that not everyone finds direct confrontation an easy thing to do. There may be some users who have some nice things to mention about someone else, but they don't feel comfortable enough to tell them directly or they just don't want to come off as a suck up (or creeper) to that person.
Giving members a way and a place to politely express the goodness they see in others around the forum is quite a nice thing to have. Similar to how we have the Dear Anonymous thread in OVP. I don't see the harm in it really so long as it's one thread open to all and it's in a place where everyone (or at least a majority of users) can have access to it and are aware about it.
Yes sir! All this and the fact that, well, a thread in OT or w/e would be much more public than the user's profile! I mean I know that there are a lot of things people have done for me that I wanted to thank them for publicly, but had to stick with VMing them and/or blogging it. It's true that profiles are public too, I just like to think that not everyone is a stalker like yours truly u_u