It's already starting to get hard to find relevant stuff. I'm sceptical about how useful the search function is going to be. Is there a way to conceptually organize questions? Tags, subcategories, user-driven taxonomy.
We had some subcategories in some sections, but people weren't really using them and ended up just using the parent category. I'm not sure I really like the idea of a million little highly specific forums. I find that that actually makes navigation harder and makes the entire forum more overwhelming rather than less.
We have talked about implementing a tag system on top of the normal forum categories. But this won't happen until after we switch to the Rails-based forum that is in development (rorBB). We're not going to invest too much into significantly modding PunBB since we'll be switching in the near(ish) future. And we definitely don't want to end up with something like http://blogoforum.com/ ... which I find very difficult to navigate and I can only imagine how hard it must be to moderate. So we'll have to be careful how we add tagging, if we do.
Also there is a huge diversity of levels. Some of the questions are advanced. Some are intermediate, some are newbie. I think questions should be classified according to those three categories. User votiing in this case could come in handy.
Well, the forum really isn't just about questions... it's not really supposed to be set up like Rick Olson's Rails Weenie forum. With a tagging system, you could always tag questions with an experience level (I envision a tag system that acts as a sort of mini del.icio.us so you can save and tag threads for yourself). Again, though, this would be something that will have to wait until after we switch over to rorBB.
Also there is a diversity of the quality of questions. Some questions are super well-posed and super well-answered. It would be nice to be able to rate the utility of the question & answers. (Again user voting.) Then filter the question and responses with the highest ratings. You might even be able to archive high scoring results as a kernel for a Tutorial section....
I'm not really too keen on voting on answers. Rails Weenie has this, and it works for them, but it's not really my thing. If everyone wants it, though, we'd certainly have to consider it (and I'm only one of the admins, afterall )
Thanks for the suggestions, David.