A whole lot has changed today. Not only did I get the site updated from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7, but I added a lot of functionality that should make it a more friendly forum experience. And the new theme (the visual appearance) is supposedly mobile friendly.
The forums used to look just like some plain tables, but now they look much more like a modern forum that people expect. I added private messaging and email notifications (i.e. following or subscribing to a forum thread), which I find highly useful myself.
As always, this is a work in progress and useful criticism or other forms of feedback are appreciated. But I hope these changes will make using this site for spreading the Shire Silver model that much more appealing.