So ... back to the discussion.
As far as cohesive community goes I think gzl has a valid point.
But - where do Mac OS X and Gaming Chat enter into here?
I recall when Mac OS X was created as a forum, it was do to two reasons that I can tell.
1) Practicality - every Future Software and soon after Current Software thread was in reference to Mac OS X, nothing else got discussed, had to be done.
2) Member request - people asked and wanted a dedicated forum for Mac OS X, the new OS is a big deal and deserved the lime light the forum gives it.
There have been draw backs to this, the segmentation that occurs does leave some people still posting Mac OS X stuff in Current Software, and rightly so as anything not dealing exclusively with Mac OS X [say using other software with it] does belong in Current Software and could end up in either place fairly.
Strangely enough Gaming Chat is a horse of a different color and is the best reason in my mind for a Newton forum.
Gaming Chat came about rather randomly, there were some member requests but not a phenomenal amount as there were with the Mac OS X forum. Gaming topics were also not over taking the Current Software forums.
With regards to Gaming Chat it just kind of makes sense to separate it from Current Software. The general thread topics of Current Software revolve around productivity software and integration of different applications. Gaming Chat allows gamers to ask for tips and discuss performance without getting in the way of something that is completely separate - ie the general topics of Current Software. This way neither one competes with each other.
Gaming Chat has never needed to be broken into Future Games and Current Games, and most likely never will be. This is due to the fact that Gaming Chat has always been AppleInsider's smallest [read less used] forum. It is doubtful it will ever grow much larger than it is or require expansion.
A Newton forum would probably not be any larger than Gaming Chat. Fact is less people own Newtons than play games. But that does not imply that it will be used less as more people after a certain people does not mean more topics. What really determines the use of a forum is how much there is to say about something. This part is harder to determine without visiting some of the major Newton sites or finding out what current development is like - both of which are much more active than I thought two weeks ago.
Taking all of this into account one can suggest that a Newton forum will segment Current Hardware and Current Software but according to the posts lately in the Newton titled threads in several forums it is obvious that several things are true:
1) Like games, those members not interested in Newton topics think that such threads get in the way of the topics they care about.
"The Newton was cool.. it's dead now. Get on with your life." - Sinewave
2) There is a rising in the number of AI members who own and use Newtons - there is one thread in which several members express that they have just bought Newtons and really want to talk about them.
3) AI Members who are interested in Newtons do not believe that they fit into any of the existing forums and are therefore hesitant to post topics regarding them in the existing forum system:
"Okay, so it's not current hardware. So sue me. All Newton users gather here." - ctt1wbw
This indicates that more people would post Newton topics if a forum existed and that the number of existing Newton threads in existing forums is not a fair estimate of Newton interest at AI.
I think that a Newton forum would be small - never get bigger than Gaming Chat, but that is all relative, none of us are talking about killing Gaming Chat because it is small or killing Mac OS X because it is segmenting our community. And both of those are fair concerns [the 2nd more than the 1st].
Well, that got long winded so please throw out some responses.