We’ve tried that in beginning and then we ended up with a lot of stubs with like one comment and then the article would disappear into the void. The long threads came about as breaking news was happening as a place to put them. I read them as timelines.
I agree that we need to have an on ramp but perhaps we simply need to update the formatting for establishing topics and break them up by month if they’re long running issues, like immigration. That’s what I did with impeachment.
I had a “feeder” thread and then I divided content up by quarter or month depending on how much content was created.
The structure of the forum software that we use is very different than social media. The forum doesn’t serve up content that may interest visitors the way social media does, and if you’re new, it shows everything is unread and everything is the latest. Some can’t find the daily discussions that happen across multiple threads. I’m not entirely certain how we can change that but we can do a better job of teaching people how to use an old school online forum. It’s more like a library than anything else we should organize it like a library too.