When trying to evaluate a plugin I first read the plugin description then head over to the support area. If I see little response from the author on questions, I do not download the product. This helps me to determine if the project (plugin) is currently active.
In your case and for other authors, you may select to host your own discussion area to all those who want to register. If this is true, then WordPress org should furnish the author a sticky, which would instruct those who want to discuss or seek help to go to the author's discussion board.
If there is no sticky post type, then the author gets penalized as it looks as though the author is not responding to questions.
Thank you for hosting your own discussion board.