Web forums are pretty popular, and I'm in the process of rolling one together for a project I'm doing. I'm trying to figure out what the best way to do it is, and right now I'm thinking that something a lot like digg, but only one level (not the extra depth level they have) is pretty close to optimal. I'm thinking of allowing small (40x40, not the more typical 80x80) avatars would be clean enough.
Forums that have the concept of threading (going deeper in direct replies) look like ass, and the comments are tough to follow in any sort of "flat mode" unless the users actively attribute the antecedent to their comment.
So I call on my 9 loyal readers to tell me what they like, or dislike, about various web forums so that I can get more ideas for what I'm putting together.
Threaded allowing as much depth as possible... but on display, do it as a collapsible tree structure. So, in a flat/expanded mode, you can easily see what posts are responses to which others. I think this makes the most sense. On top of spatially shifting deeper posts, you can also color code in such a way to promote additional clarity.
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