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Always Willing To Answer

Will Baude asks, with regards to changes at the brand-new, tech-making-me-envious Begging to Differ:

Oh, and the new site also has a forum. I am confused. What is the utility of having both comments-thread for every post and the forum with dozens of threads of its own? And how on earth will anybody who is not a site administrator be able to keep track of and read them all?

Far be it from me to debate the merits of comments with Will, especially since his resistance to comments seems to crumble every minute. But as to the latter question, how would one keep track, I'm happy to answer. I'm sure he didn't expect it, but hey, what good is a quasi-techie who doesn't take a rhetorical question hyperliterally?

The new forum runs on YaBB!, a platform that I've used on a couple of projects. (I actually prefer PHPBB, as it seems more fully-featured, but that's me.) It's a pretty basic forum, and if you're a new user to such things, there's a couple easy ways of keeping up with what looks like massive traffic.

The first, and easiest, is notification. If there's a topic you're interested in, just click the "Notification of Replies" button at the top of the page. You'll get an email whenever anyone replies. This feature will be annoying if tuned to a very active board, but if your mailbox has been feeling lonely lately, here's your medicine.

In the Info Center on the front page of the Forum, you can find a link to the ten most recently-updated topics on the board.

Finally, each topic listing will have a little button if there's a new message in the post since the last time you logged on. Of course, you'd have to be logged on.

Will I be participating? Not a chance in hell. Forums will suck whatever free time that you happen to have out of you, and that would leave my more dry than a good looking damsel at a vampire convention. But hey, if you're going to check it out and are new to forums, I hope this helps.

Actually, I will take a stab at Will's other question. Why is a forum necessary? Because pretentious blogs like his have never handled incredibly important Batman vs. Superman question.

(Yes, yes, that was a joke...)


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Oh come on! You're in law school. You've got all the time in the world! Surely no better way to spend it than jumping in on the ground floor of a brand new soul-sucking forum! You already have the advantage of YaBB savvy. You could run the place! Come on... post a couple times.... you can handle it! It'll just be for receation. Only for an extra boost now and then. You won't NEED the forum - it'll be receation, that's all. You've got it completely under control. Just post. Just once or twice.

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