Why Forums Suck
information is there, but often woolly, that is, in "paragraph" form with bad writing or in response to something, or several, several pages in
they all look awful, with tacky ads everywhere
the "date joined" timestamp is often more prominent, or in a place I don't expect it to be, so I dismiss the timestamp as being too old when in fact the comment or post was recent
the URLs are unpleasant and the forum hierarchy is almost always unintuitive
long, repetitive signatures ON EVERY COMMENT are annoying.
there's an article to be written, however, on the history of the "accomplishment signature." You know, like in mobile forums, people will list which phones they have or have had; system administrators will list which distribution of Linux or kernel they prefer; and even transportation buffs will list which cruise/rail tour they've taken recently. Especially if the signatures are dynamic, this is a compelling look into the currency of what people consume even if the forums they've commented on/posted to is old.
forums are usually open forever, with stupid people asking for an update or stupid followups
this is how forums are designed. They are designed to suck!
The Internet is designed to route around information failures, right? So let's build a Greasemonkey script/user style/Firefox plugin that:
collapses poorly-written forum comments like the YouTube Snob extension (maybe using Mollom for Websites?)
removes "date joined" from view altogether (or collapsible as well, as it's data used to evaluate the comment poster, but rarely useful alone)
make them look nice
make them look like blogs? Which look nice?
a web service to make RSS feeds of comment threads
encourage a culture of gardening and summary wiki pages with tasteful ads
help build forum software that uses dynamic signatures, or short signatures with no images, or no signatures at all
socially punish signatures manually pasted in to each post