Discussion Forums

Part of the book: CMS Shootout, the book (deprecated)

Threaded Dicussion forums are a prominent feature of the Old KWLUG web site

Threaded discussion through a web GUI interface appears to be popular with those who first contact KWLUG. Is this because the registered web forum is the best place for their initial contact? Or is it because it is the first type of contact presented to the new visitor to the KWLUG site?
Are the threaded forums required? Would a web GUI interface to the KWLUG mailing list (r/w please!) offer the same ability to post from a browser, but allow contact with a larger audience (namely the mailing list)?