I love the new forum features that others have cited above. But I will admit that I feel like I miss a lot more of what’s going on now. I think the old forums had a small-space feel, which has its good and bad points. The new forums feel more spacious, like being in a much larger room, with more separate conversations going on. But I’m slowly refining my navigation method, and am keeping up a little better now.
I think part of the problem is that the system works differently for high-volume versus low-volume readers. The ‘Latest’ view works well for high-volume users, because they can keep up with what’s going on. But the ‘Latest’ view fills up too fast for a low-volume user to keep up.
For low-volume users, it’s a lot easier if you use the ‘New’ view to browse new thread titles, and only open the ones you’re interested in, and click ‘Dismiss New’ to remove all the remaining ones. Once you’ve opened a thread, decide whether or not you want to follow it. If so, set it to ‘Tracking’ at the bottom of the thread. If not, set it to ‘Normal’ or ‘Mute’. Tracked threads will appear in the ‘Unread’ list when they have new activity, so you can start each foruming session by catching up with the conversations you’ve been following.