If a newbie has a quick question that probably means that others would too, and it it's posted as a thread the same question doesn't have to be answered over and over. Plus, if the question deserves an answer of more than just a few words it doesn't get the proper attention being answered in the shoutbox anyway.
A theory or finding posted in the shoutbox gets buried within minutes depending on how active the shoutbox is, (read that as whether omg is logged in or not
) And the only ones that may see or contribute to it are those who are watching the shoutbox, at that time.
Making the shoutbox searchable would not be an easy thing to do, because it is not a myBB component and cannot be included in the standard myBB search scripting. So, it would require modifying the plugin to run a Google or Bing search of the database, and would mean that putting a second search function on the site.
How many people would want to have to search in 2 separate places trying to find the information they are looking for, and how just woud valuable would anything in a conversation that went something like this be to anyone:
abc: went out last night wearing superduper pheromone
xyz: how was it?
abc: great lot's of ioi's
lmn: hey everyone!
opq: ehy lmn, how was last night
xyz: really? did you get lucky?
def: hey lmn where have yu been?
opq: man it was off the chain
opq: ive got to remember the combo i wore
abc: going to be, bye
aaa: hey everyone