I'm addressing you because you are someone who has helped in this thread - but this is in response to everyone.
I've been participating in discussion forums for over 25 years (yes, from before there were Internet browsers). I normally can catch on to a new and different format with a day or two of joining, and I'm pretty adept and finding the "settings" area and customizing things to my liking, and I recognize all of the formatting and linking and inserting commands. I think I may be one of the few people who's been adding photos to my posts, but I am new and you've probably not seen them.
BUT... this forum has flummoxed me mightily. Now it may be that it's specifically designed for people who don't have preconceived notions of discussion board layout and arranging. But I'm not sure about that. So that's just another comment about the layout.
About moderating. I've been a moderator in groups that have hundreds of posts a day. Moderating isn't easy, and it's time consuming. Having the whole "community" area divided into so many groups makes it more difficult to moderate and for users to track things. I'm amazing that anyone can moderate this thing at all.
So from my possibly unusual viewpoint the problem is layout and functionality. I can't even explain what's wrong in my mind - because I've yet to see the logic behind what I'm seeing. But I'll give one example. I got an email because @Rhymesometimes mentioned me in a post. Terrific. I could click on that and find the thead. But then she mentioned, you @AARPMichaelP and it took me about 3-4 minutes to figure out where you had first posted in this thread. That's not good.
To my eye, this forum seems to be trying too hard to be user friendly and not hard enough to be logical. I think it's very attractive and visually appealing. But it just feels like the back end is over modified. And maybe focusing on visual appeal is the way to go to attract an older, less "message board confident" crowd. I'm probably not typical. But I think perhaps the powers that be underestimate how many AARP members participate in other discussion areas already.
But I'm going to stick things out - for a while. I really feel like I'd love this place if I could only navigate more quickly (and quite short parts of a post because that's so helpful <hopeful smile>).