It's funny, Larry (Mingstar) and I posted completely independently. We didn't get together on diehards.org until after I partially followed through on my "threat" to M* on 6/22 by announcing the creation of a page that showed the 50 most recently updated conversations. It was very primitive and buggy at first, but 3 days later...mellindauer - Has anyone noticed that Conversations from earlier today are already scrolling off the bottom of the page? And would you believe that it's only a little after 4 PM EST.
Carl and I discussed this at Diehards II, and we're hoping that M* will be able to offer us some method to deal with the large number of posts that this forum generates. Stay tuned!
Mingstar - I've often wanted to search just the Diehards forum for a keyword. It was troublesome to have to weed out the other forums by eye.
I'd also like to see more powerful searching capabilities. I think Google got it right.
annbrennan - I'm not a programmer, but just being away for a few days is a "killer" trying to sort through the posts I've missed. As they don't necessarily follow in date order I have to go back further than expected to "catch up".
It would be nice to pick up where I left off.
lowwall - I am a programmer and most of what you are asking for is trivial.
In fact, I could quite easily do it myself (provide decent search capabilities and the ability to view posts in last response order) on one of my own sites with the links coming back to here.
But I doubt M* would let me.
Maybe I'll do it anyway and just wait for the cease and desist letter. If nothing else it might show them how useful such features can be.
Larry contacted me and told me he had been indexing all the posts with the idea that he would eventually build a search engine around them and offered to work with me on a site to include my listings and his search engine. He did the coding and I did the front end, and we had a working prototype up within a week. We brought in beta testers (Taylor, Mel, Bylo, Bonesly, Claudia and Bob Stowe) on 7/11 and...
diehards.org launched on 7/27/01.
Edit: Here's a post announcing the move of this forum by its creator Phoenix to diehards.org http://www.diehards.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=201