Based on my experience of using BirdForum and several other listservers, I believe Surfbirds Forums is already in danger of falling into the trap of introducing too many different Forums.
Frankly, if members are encougaged to use carefully considered Titles (which Moderators should not hesitate to edit to make them more informative for members) then I for one would be happy with just half a dozen key topics - at least at the outset. That way members can easily ignore topics that are of no interest to them and they're less likely to miss out on those that are.
Many of us are busy people who want to promote bird conservation in any way we can but I'm sure it's simply not possible for most to keep an eye on more than a few separate Forums.
For those who don't know BirdForum it has specific Forums for every county in Britain, state in the USA, country of the World, etc. By reviewing these you'll see that most have very few postings, often with months elapsing between the contributions. What's the point in that?
On two occasions I've posted requests for information (RFIs) in these very specific Forums, neither of which generated any helpful response over a period of weeks. I then posted the same RFI on a more general Forum and got half a dozen useful responses within 24 hours.
So my strong advice to Surfbirds is to cut down the long list of Forums now to just a few key headings and only open up new ones if it's really necessary (eg. if a particular topic begins to hyjack a Forum then by all means set up a new one).
Food for thought?