My site has been resigned twice since it's inception about five years ago; each time participation at my forum has dropped. Right now, I'm lucky if I get one post a month, other than from spammers. If the forum hasn't taken off by now, I doubt it ever will.
I'm not saying the redesigns caused the drop in participation. There are a lot of excellent and much better forums in the field.
The forum has always been a pain in for me. I don't enjoy it. I have three moderators but, hey, there is little now to moderate. I mean, would you participate in a forum where no one has made a post for a month?!
The forum, though, does have a lot of very good and useful content, which will be as applicable in the future as it is today. The forum is visited and read even though few people participate.
I'm thinking of closing the forum. But which is the best approach?
1- Do I just do away with it?
2- Or, do I just lock out participation; put a notice that the forum is closed but the posts are available to read?
I should add, that site visitors DO use the commenting system at my site, and recent comments and most commented articles are fed into the bottom of each page.