They don't mean anything Snuffy. When you post you can add one of the little Icons at the top of the posting area. The black dots I'm not sure about. It might mean that the post has been replied to or something stupid like that. :?
i see dots..
when you go to "view new posts"
the column runnin' down the far left side of the new post page there are circles with a bell in them and some have a black dot------i think the dot means you have replied in that topic.