This is something that, as a forum owner and administrator, I always think about. I do not think that segmentation of the forum is the answer, and that is off the table. Clothing are not cars, or consumer electronics, and is just not amenable to that type of segmentization. I like the mix of brand, vendor, and random, discussions. To me, that's what makes a forum fun. And enjoyable is what it is about. Yes, the forum should be informative, but a new reader or member who comes, ask a single question, and leave without ever seeing what else is on here, is a wasted opportunity. Segmentation really hurts discoverability in a forum. I want this place to be a vibrant community of people passionate about clothing, not (just) an information depot.
However, I hear your concerns, and they are mine too.
Here are some of the steps I propose, and I would love to get feedback, though, ultimately, j and I will make the final decision.
1) Big, ongoing threads like WAYWN will get an annual reboot, or even twice a year reboot. We've always done this, but on a not particularly organized schedule. With regular reboots, (and there will be links to the old threads, obviously), It's easier for people to follow the conversation. We get net users all the time, and a fit from 2005 doesn't need to be in the thread along with WAYWT pictures from 2013. Everything will just feel more fresh.
2) The "Ask a Question" threads are... a mess. I would like to split these off by topic, and also do a monthly reboot. This way, the topics and answers are fresh, and neither questions nor answers get lost. I'd also love volunteers who would do things as simple as pointing the users to @unbelragazzo's starter's guide (which will be updated as well), or to answer, maybe once a day, a single new user question.
3) We used to break off threads when a secondary topic comes up. We've done this in Streetwear and Denim more, but I feel that there is enough rambling for us to do this here. Obviously, I cannot do this all myself, but it is something with which I can task the "Dubiously Honored" members. This way, interesting topics that come up as a result of another discussion is not lost, but gets a chance to grow.
How does these sound to you? Please keep in mind the hard guidelines, i.e. we will not break up the forum into more subforums, and the purpose of these proposed steps - to make the forum more vibrant for "power users" and more accessible for newbies, in mind. For this discussion, I'm going to keep it focused, and for that reason, I'm just going to delete any posts that are just general bitching and moaning, or posts going down roads I've already closed off. Through the years, we've already discussed additional subforums, etc..., and there is no need to rehash those ideas at this time.
Look forward to hearing your thoughts.