I use forums for my business, and I own several forums. When I go online it is usually to visit and participate on a forum. I got into karting right when the old ekartingnews was chugging along. Then the switch happened and the forum died and I have yet to find a good site for sprint karting since.
I tried for the longest time to register here but was unable. It was just a few weeks ago that I tried again and was finally able. So I can participate again. But there are likely lots of people in this same boat.
A forum needs to be much more than just informational posts about an industry. It needs to be a place that like minded individuals can visit to discuss their common interest, but also BS with their pals. There needs to be a section for off topic stuff for example.
When the site was migrated over why was a programmer not paid a couple hundred bucks to bring in all the old data? In fact it could still be done. I agree that the software should be changed to vbulletin to male it easier to use, then bring in both the new and old content. Have accounts merged via username, email, and if different emails are used then by user request. And finally there will be a site with the appearance of lots of activity. At that point it will be up to the users to be more active.