The Shoutbox did not randomly disappear. It was removed due to server error problems. The administrator Kybyrian is currently working to bring it back or find an acceptable alternative.
I can live without it as there was no SB when I first joined. The former one had been disabled two and a half weeks prior. I learned to live with communication via VM on here; blogging was also a realm where I could share my sentiments. That being said, I was here on day one when the MGC Evo Chatbox was installed and frequented it regularly. The feature shall be missed. While the Shoutbox remains disabled, I'll continue to communicate via people on Skype.
Yeah, basically what ALIT said. The Shoutbox was causing database errors and a solution is currently in the works. In the meantime, I would suggest Skype for anyone who wants to continue to IM with their friends from ZD. I myself primarily chat on Skype and find it to be a wonderful tool for communication. It does instant messaging, voice chats, and video calls. Very handy application.