Cecil only does one column a week. If a question is posted here, and someone is able to answer it, why would Cecil want to put it in a column?
Cecil writes; he gets paid for writing. He doesn’t get paid for taking stuff that others have written (like, on the Message Boards) and putting it in his column.
People with questions can pose them directly to Cecil, or can post them on the Message Boards. Questions posted here generally stay here, although sometimes we get duplicates (obviously.) Cecil generally does not read the Message Boards for questions.
Questions sent to Cecil are screened, first by Jane (to get rid of stuff that Cecil shouldn’t waste his time on.) Some of them are given to Staff to be turned into Mailbag items. For instance, questions that have been answered before by others, often the Staff just compile a response based on the research already done.
Cecil then picks which questions he wants to write about. Some of the “rejects” are passed over to the Staff, for Mailbag use.
So it’s really three separate arenas – the column, the Mailbag, and the Message Boards.
But there has been some overlap. The most obvious overlap is in the books, where the last two books have included quotes, questions/answers, and funny responses from the Message Boards.
There have also been occasions when Cecil has taken comments on his columns from the Message Boards, and written follow-up columns in response.