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ntm wrote

I've been doing comparative research into forum software, and the best I've seen is It doesn't aim to be a vote-driven bulletin board, more for general discussions, with either threaded tree-style comments or chat room discussion. We can set up a free forum until October, and then it's reasonably-priced after that, and I would gladly foot the bill if we were to make a community there.

The best improvement I've seen on the vote-driven social news / forum is from, which replaces sub-forums with tags. I think tags allow for more overlap between communities and more cross-talk, but unfortunately is invite-only and aimed at techies.