Why they shoved all the text to the left with all that white space on the right is beyond me. And it gets my OCD going as I prefer things to be lined up and centered. Its a very strange layout for a discussion forum.
I have to say the software they use for their forums is so out of date its not even funny. With all the techs working there you would think they could write a better program.
Anyway, they narrowed it down to generic discussions, questions and bugs. Normally its a good idea to keep forum sections to just a few but it doesn't seem to be working well on Etsy. But part of that is they are now much looser about what you can post. So what used to be business discussions is now just discussions. So I guess you can post about your cat, your un supportive spouse, your milestones etc.
I think the theory was if they were looser about what you could post they would get more people posting. But I do think its backfiring. I think most are like me in that we enjoy connecting to like minded people and learning from others. But I don't really want to read about spouses, cats, milestones etc.
And now the forums are being over run by spammers. It amazes me that Etsy cannot control forum spam. Heck when I owned my Shetland pony forum I paid extra to have spam control that worked like a charm. So all those techies that Mark talks about cannot write a bot/spam control program? Crazy. Or they could just hire some Etsy shops that are there all the time (and I do mean all the time) to delete spam on weekends and nights. Its really not rocket science. I used to have volunteers help me.
I do think if they don't get the spam under control and get some interesting discussions going the percentage of users using the forums is going to go even lower