Perhaps something like the following, explained in my own words, or similar could be useful and added to the FAQ.
What is Tracking and Following:
The forum uses following and tracking so you can keep forum updates on your radar. Whether you choose following or tracking is up to you. Tracking and Following use different communication channels.
All OTN community activity is recorded in the Dashboard. The Dashboard is useful to check recent activity in a chronological order. Choose All Activity in the Dashboard to see all activity, or choose Followed Activity to filter the information by forum spaces and discussions you are following. To see all discussions or threads you are following, click on your username in the OTN forum banner, choose Content and select Following, which is similar to a Watch list.
Information you are tracking can be listed under Communications. When you start or join a discussion, tracking is enabled automatically. The advantage of tracking is the read and unread counter shown in the Communications tab in the forum banner, similar to e-mail, however, information management is more limited compared to following.
Now you know why companies want to track site usage. You want feedback because you don't know if anyone is being influenced by or acting on suggestions. People aren't using the like button, but that isn't really an indicator, is it? Some things stimulate a group of people to follow your lead (ie, people contributing to faqs), some things may stimulate repairs to a broken bit of code. You either need to get feedback or have faith. You need patience, and perhaps an attitude that you are doing it for yourself to do it right. Or it could indeed be a waste.
This morning I heard an interview with the creators of a TV show called "Drunken History." When asked about the genesis of the show, the fellow mentioned how stupid he thought adjudging comedy was with like buttons, they thought it would make more sense to see people's actual reactions as to whether a video was funny. Once you know that, then you post and it can go viral. They had no idea it that actual famous people would ask to be in it and it would become popular enough to become a tv show. I think this is directly parallel to what we have here with judging technical content. The feedback is sketchy.
I appreciate your feedback. Posting and creating information can be a lot of fun, but it's even more fun seeing that people viewed a posting or even find it useful. Spending a lot of time on putting information together that is meant to help and getting zero feedback or attention for it is not motivating.
I'm glad that the new forum software brought the views counter back. At least it gives some idea what information is considered interesting. Unfortunately it seems many if not most people go by subject, and the more provoking it is the more attention it seems to get. Technical subjects apparently do not really catch people's eyes much here.
I wonder if the migration of previous views counts is correct. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think some posts had more views before the forum migration, before the page hit counter was removed from displaying. OTN advertises itself being on of the largest community with a million of users, but often it seems there is only a handful.
Anyway, the reason for my previous response was that I think the OTN staff or management could show more presence here, and at least keep forum members informed about the current progress or status, in particular after the last forum upgrade, even if it was just matter of courtesy.