What I would like is to have the last time an author logged on to the site available somewhere, to allow me to target works approaching archiving but well before the week's notice (which is too short if the author has well over 100 works, or if multiple prolific authors are archived in short order, or if a reader's internet access is lost for a while). It would also answer the frequent questions of the form 'Is XYZ still around'. This info obviously already exists in the database as it's used by the archive mechanism and gets reported in the forums on occasion.
It would be logical to have this info listed in the author profile, but not all authors have profiles so that's not possible. As I see it, there are only two places this info could be shown; on the author storylist page (not a great fit, though all authors have a storylist page) or as an extra column on the alphabetical author list pages, similar to the 'Latest' column. [ETA: a column heading of 'Seen' seems appropriate.] There is plenty of space in the Name field that could be pinched for another column; the longest author name at present is 'Tonight I can write the filthiest lines' which only uses about half the available width. For an extra wrinkle, if the author doesn't log on and stories are only posted by the management (like the SciFi stories pulp reprints) this field could be left blank to show this.