If you go to pretty much any kind of public forum, you would really only see 2 kinds of ways for sorting that forum's threads/posts.
The first, and likely most "popular" version as of right now is the "Reddit" version. Threads and comments are sorted with upvotes and downvotes, and their popularity are determined by the number of upvotes any one thread/comment gets within a certain amount of time, giving the community quite alot of power in sorting the forum out.
The second version is the "old school" version, where threads are primarily "bumped". Threads are sorted in terms of recency. Any new comment made to a thread "bumps" the entire thread back up to the top of the listings. This allows conversations to go on for quite some time, and lets threads die peacefully as conversations shift towards more recent conversations. If you were around during that time, the old League forums followed this format.
However, there are significant flaws with *both* versions.
The "Reddit" version allows for "bandwagoning", where multiple threads covering the same topic can crowd out any other thread covering any other topic, thus discouraging people to making differentiating threads. Then, overtime, this leads to the forums becoming an "echo chamber", where the majority of the population of the forum agrees on the same topics, and also disagrees on the same topic. Any thread that would go against the "echo chamber" would get downvoted into oblivion, thus discouraging the person who made the thread to make another, and thus only feeding the "echo chamber" even more.
The "old school" version has a very big problem with "necro threads", excessive bumping, and the fact that long lasting conversations can also be a downside. Anyone could make a comment on a thread that could be years old and hasn't seen any activity for months, or even years, and all of a sudden, this thread is back up at the top competing for space with far more recent threads. People could also "bump" their threads in order to keep the thread they made at the top of that particular sub-forum, and thus crowding out other threads. But also, conversations could last for so long, that that one particular thread would essentially be "pinned" to the top of thread without any action from the mods (and if the conversation is good enough, than it would be wrong for the mods to shut the thread down).
Effectively, both versions tend to be more of a hindrance to what forums are meant to achieve (which is create meaningful discussions between large groups of people). The "Reddit" version still does work for small forums that don't have alot of traffic (look at pretty much any champion main sub-reddit), but the larger the forum, the more amplified the problems become. Also, both styles' flaws are more amplified if it is a personal forum for a company. Both The Boards here, the Blizzard forums, and several other game company forums are perfect examples of just this.
So, I am making this thread to get some ideas from you guys. Because, frankly, I can't think of a way a forum could be sorted differently, due to how they work. Are there any kind of forum sorting methods that you have thought of or possibly seen that doesn't have the flaws of the 2 styles listed above?
Now, if an idea comes up that gets some attention, don't think that us mods would be able to immediately implement it. This thread is to simply see if there is something we could possibly talk about. However, even if an idea makes it through the rounds of conversations that the mod team would have over it, it would also take plenty of time for the system to be implemented. And, it could also be possible that implementing the idea could be impossible for the current build of the Boards, requiring the Boards to be built from the ground up (which, at least for the foreseeable future, is not an option). Mind you, however, that that doesn't make the idea "bad" in any way.
Before you post your idea, however, try to consider if your idea follows these....."guidelines":
* It should promote healthy conversation
* It can support a large population
* We're talking thousands, even millions of users
* It doesn't require heavy moderation
* Remember, most mods of most forums are unpaid volunteers, just like us
* It doesn't have to completely shut down "bandwagoning" or "echo chambers", but it should have something in place to discourage that from happening
It doesn't have to be perfect, but it should be an overall improvement from our current options.
So.....let me hear those ideas of yours!