As a longtime member of this board, I applaud the recent changes that have been made to it. But as a long time member of the board I also have what I hope is some constructive criticism based on 8 years prior experience.
New areas of interest based on several popular grill/smoker families have been added as sticky topics under the General Discussions area. I think it's an excellent idea to have these areas for the fans of the various grills. I remember the CG Family thread very fondly. When I was preparing to get my CG back in 2005, I read all 150 pages of that threat. In fact I saved out the pages as PDFs that I put on my laptop so I could read them on my daily trip on the commuter train. The knowledge there was invaluable. And when I brought my CG home I was able to hit the ground running, because I read about mistakes and problems that other had and was able to avoid them. Instead of repeating others' mistakes, I was free to find my own mistakes to make. Those were few and far between, but I shared My own experiences back to the thread. Okay this sounds good, so what is my complaint?
My complaint is the sheer popularity of a single thread CG family or Weber or BGE thread Will pretty quickly make it unusable due to its own popularity. As I mentioned earlier, when I bought my CG, the CG Family thread was up 250 pages. Not too long after that I noticed it had topped over 200 pages. When I first used it, I really did want to learn everything CG and scoured it from cover to cover. But at over 200+ pages it became very unwieldy to use. Every time somebody put a new reply on there, no matter what the topic you were notified if you subscribe to that particular thread. I also noticed that people were putting CG related questions out in the general discussion area, instead of on the CG Family thread where they really belongs. And who could blame them? A new post landed on page 200 and simply got ignored.
Even though it has just gotten off the ground, I can see the problem happening in the BGE/Kamado cooker thread. There have been some interesting posts there but they are all on the one single level And not all topics in there will be of equal interest to everyone who uses it. So what is the solution? I actually think it's simple in concept, but I don't know how hard it is to implement with your board software. The solution is to allow the posting of new topics within the various new special interest areas. Instead of going in and being faced with tens or hundreds of pages "organized" in a single thread, people can look through the multiple folders for the post topics and rather quickly find posts they're interested in. You may have to put these folders/topics one level up at the Board Index to allow people to create new posts within that topic but I think it is well worth it and will make those areas usable going forward. Anyone who ever use that CG Family thread in its heyday knows exactly what I'm talking about.
So I do applaud the new changes and I'm excited about them, but I really do think the special interest grill areas have to allow for the creation of topics within them to ultimately succeed. Right now is a bit ironic, but the more popular an area becomes and the more information it contains, the less used it will be because the information is so hard to get to easily.