Originally Posted by dreamsburnred
The reason why most discussions go unhelpful is because there is a serious lack of users in the discussion forums. In a response Apple is changing it so more people will be part of the community, essentially making it more useful.
I don't believe it's a lack of users that's the problem, it's that the number of informed
users who can offer help has declined in proportion to everyone else. The present format has also become dated and no longer conducive to the needs of Apple's more recent customers.
The present Discussions forum remains an excellent resource for people with a cursory knowledge of computing and literate enough to describe a problem and search for a solution, but such people are becoming rarer. It's an old adage - make a product even an idiot can use, and idiots will use them.
Contrary to some of the replies here I've never failed to find an answer with a simple search. The problem seems to be that the general level of knowledge among Apple's consumers has declined along with the explosive rise of inexpensive iDevices. There seems to be an inordinate number of questions asked incoherently these days, making it difficult to divine the writer's intent. Nearly all those questions go unanswered. Also, bear in mind that an unknown number of questions get answered with a thoughtful and thorough solution that's never acknowledged or marked "answered" by the OP. At least half my answers don't get acknowledged in any way.
Look at any number of Windows computer user forums - HP's is one I frequent. They've been useless for years, characterized by many illiterate posts and incoherent rants about unsolvable Windows problems. Why? I surmise people who buy Windows products were less informed to begin with - if they had taken the time to become knowledgeable they would have bought Apple computers instead.
An entire market of sub- $500 mobile devices has now exposed Apple to a brand new group of consumers that can't distinguish a wireless network from a power cord, and don't even care to learn. Due to this recent popularity, Apple's present Discussions forums is starting to resemble those other useless user support forums. I think they're trying to avoid that.