Re: What is the advantage of Forums vs Activity Stream
An activity stream is just that, a stream. Once something goes below the fold, it’s gone forever. It’s evanescent. It’s a nightclub.
A blog, even themed with P2 (which is basically where we got the activity stream from, right down to the ‘What’s new, username?’), is still a blog, and once a post-and-comment-thread is off the index page, it’s much less likely to be seen or engaged with by users (despite the fact that you can try and surface activity with new comments widgets in the sidebar and such). It’s a busy bar.
A forum and its threads are more static. New comments bump threads back to the top, so it is a place where people can continue to return to discussions. It’s the comfy chair at the pub with a newspaper.
Each model has its own purposes, and different sorts of sites will focus on different aspects, because they will all have different requirements and userbases.
But yeah, docflo and 3sixty are right about the ability to comment on a forum post activity item in the stream and not have the comment appear in the corresponding forum thread is counterintuitive. Rather than turn it off, I’ve edited the language files to change some of the verbiage associated with activity items to make it clearer that they are different actions. But I might end up turning it off entirely.