Starting a new online forum from an existing mailing list is not easy. You have to convince some number of people (10? 20?) to stop simply receiving content, and to actively go out to $WEBSITE and get the content that way.
And people are lazy.
So, when the forum went 2-3 months without anyone but me (the admin) and spammers logging in, I just removed permissions to the directory, and went about my business.
And about a 8-12 months after that, there’s now a discussion on the mailing list which needs a forum (because most people don’t care about your Illuminati theories… kthxbai) I get to go resurrect upgrade and clean up the forum.
If I knew the formula to make all this work, I could make big money in a social networking company.