I'm a little frustrated with the Ning forum format. Someone just posted something smart about organizing forums, and I read it in my RSS feed. But I came here and can't find it! The "search forums" only seems to search titles. If it was a forum post, I can't find it.
So whoever that was, I apologize for stealing your question. I think it's a good one and deserves some discussion. I'm not sure if there is an answer, because we have to live within what Ning provides. There may be options that I'm overlooking though. I'd appreciate it it someone has figured out some settings or options that help.
Beyond being able to organize, the forums look just like the blogs, So that's confusing. And you can't easily tell which thread has recent replies, or sort on that. As far as I can see, you can only sort on posting date and popularity (and I'm not sure what that means - most replies? is there voting somewhere?)
Anyway, this seems to be devolving into a complaint about Ning, and I don't want to do that. So I'll stop here!
Most forums have a simple list that opens to a threaded discussion. You can also tell quickly how many replies there are and what the most recent reply was.