I am nonetheless sorry these forums closed. And, just like me, many other colleagues and students told me they miss it and used to read it regularly. As usual, there might be many accidental reasons connected to this failure. More in general, however, I would like to ask the following question: Why do the ones who now say they miss it never/hardly participated to it? (which could amount to: Why do we expect others to do what we do not have time enough to do ourselves?) Obviously enough, a forum cannot be made out of a (few) hero(s)' efforts. In order for an interesting discussion to occur, one needs several participants. On the other hand, an indological forum has the disadvantage of not clearly defining who its authors/readers should be. As I wrote in a previous post, I do feel closer to a colleague studying philosophy than to one who studies Bolliwood films (or Vedic preverbs). However, one might suggest a minimal definition of a forum for whomsoever is interested in reading Sanskrit texts. This would not be my favourite website (I am not particularly interested in whatever has been written in Sanskrit just because it is in Sanksrit), but I guess that no website would ever be my favourite one and I would certainly contribute to it.
As for readers/authors: a too large audience is by definition excluded (there are not so many people reading Sanskrit and among them the most part is rather of the lonely type and would not ever dream of participating to a forum). Hence, in my opinion, the forum should aim at covering all the rest of the audience, with no a priori exclusion (I do not believe that closed forums work, unless they are meant for a very specific purpose, such as discussing a book among coeditors).
Turning back to the initial question: how could one make Indologists write and discuss? One could not just hope they will. The system makes them rather focus on personal enterprises, such as writing articles/critical editions, etc., since they are academically rewarded (wehereas forum discussions are not). A forum might be hopefully useful, so that one wants to read (and, in case, participate) to discussions about, e.g., usage of terms one frequently encounters. On top of that, it has to be fun. Since, as already mentioned, there is no academic reward, one needs to enjoy doing it, just like one enjoys chatting with friends. Hence, although I am against closed forums, I would not engage again in one unless with a group of friends I really like chatting with. Moreover, it helps to have a common agenda (mine, as many readers already know is: making Indian philosophy part of Philosophy tout court).
Last, in my experience this implies also that one needs to enroll some graduate students (or people who are graduate students in spiritu). That is, one needs people who enjoy what they do and are still idealist enough to like discussing for hours about it. These qualities are rare, but they are even rarer among members of the academic staff (me included, of course).
What do you think?