What would you think of a forum (or forum software) that gave you two views to see new posts, rather than just the traditional forum post or streaming content models?
Most websites where you have discussions following one model or the other. What if there was a platform that did both so that you could interact with the same content, but in two different ways?
Stream / News Feed
Similar to Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, you could follow particular people, and their posts and discussions would appear in your feed. You could also follow particular topics and any new comments would show up in your stream as well. If someone you follows shares a post, that too would appear in your stream.
Benefit: You get to see the latest posts from the people and topics you follow. You would be able to respond directly from within the stream so there is less clicking. It encourages people to share content they like.
Basically the familiar forum structure where posts and replies are on the same page, and posts are organized in a forum structure.
Benefit: Topics would stay active longer since they don't fall off the stream, and people who are not following anyone yet would be able to find more topics in a structured way. For longer posts, it would be easier to read since there is more space, and for discussions with a lot of comments, it makes it easier to navigate the comments, since it is paginated.
Multiple Views / Same Content
So rather than an either/or approach that most websites take, you would be able to consume the content how you want, and switch between them at any time.