This week the MSCom team, in an effort led by Jana, pushed out an update to the forum system that runs the MSDN forums. Jana just posted about the update here, but I'll save you the click...

1. Top Answerers Page: This page will display a list of the top 100 users over the past 30 days who have the most # of posts marked as answered. It is important to us and our users that we highlight the great effort by the forum users.

2. (Moderation) Alerts: Users will now receive an alert (if they have alerts enabled) when a post they have made or signed up for has been altered (edited, moved, deleted, marked as answered, etc). This will ensure users are always kept aware of the activity on their posts and encourage them to visit their post and mark it as Answered after a reply has been made.

3. MVP Identification: MVPs (Most Valuable Professionals) are a great asset to Microsoft and our community. These are Microsoft users who dedicate much of their time to answering Microsoft related questions in the community. In this release, we have enabled MVP Identification. This means, each time an MVP makes a post, they will have a special MVP icon next to their name to ensure greater visibility.

4. Related Answers: We have made some visual changes to the Can't Find The Answer widget found on the showforum.aspx and addpost.aspx pages to widen the box. This enables users to see more text of the potentially related post that may help answer their question. On the addpost.aspx page, the container will also change background color if the contents are updated (after a user types in a subject, the container will update itself with relevant matches). This will ensure users are alerted when new content appears in this container before they type their question. The goal is to encourage users to search for their answer before posting a new one.

5. META Tags: We have added META tags to each of our pages. When users issue queries to MSN, we will look at META tags returned with results and use predetermined attributes returned to drive search filtering.

6. Firefox: We heard you & hopefully listened correctly! Users were reporting a horizontal scroll bar in Firefox when viewing the showforum.aspx pages. We have fixed that in this release. Thanks for reporting it!

7. Duplicate Search Results: When using a major search engine, users were receiving duplicate search results. we have implemented a change to prevent this from occurring.

8. Top 10 Answerers: On the default.aspx & showforum.aspx page, users will notice a container at the bottom of the page that lists top answerers for that site or forum. This was previously showing top answerers over a 24-hour period. We have widened the date range to show top answerers over a 30 day period.

Thanks for all the hard work Jana & Co!  This release addresses a bunch of big user pain points.  I'm especially happy now to know that if a post is deleted... the user will see the reason that was given!