Sub-dividing the Mudcat into different forums might complicate rather than solve our problems - people have a hard enough time naming their threads now, let alone deciding which of multiple sub-forums it ought to be posted to. The easiest way to help folks organize which threads to scan and which to avoid is to have a consistant system for naming them.
The problem with a category system for thread names is that regulars would quickly learn it, but new people coming to the Forum won't know it. Maybe the "Create a Thread" page could have an explanation of the categories and a "required" field to fill in before posting:
Some suggested categories/prefixes:
"MC" for MudChat (instead of the reviled "BS")
"Song REQ" for Song request (instead of the confusing "Lyr req" vs "Lyr/chords req")
"Tune REQ"for tunes only
"ADD Song" (so you can search on ADD)
"ADD Tune" (ditto)
"DEF" for threads seeking discussions of musical terms, like the "Skiffle" or "Modal" threads
"Help" for whatever
and some sort of catchall, like "NOTA" = "None of the Above" for those threads you just can't categorize...
Another thing that would help would be a "NOT" function in the filter. People who don't want to see "MC" or "BS" threads could set the filter to "NOT MC" and eliminate the distraction. (I don't know if that's functionally possible - I don't know the programming involved).
I've also yearned for a way to search for threads from a given time period. Rather than setting the filter to "1 Day", "3 Days", etc., it would be nice if you could filter on a specific date or range of dates - say, only those threads whose first posting was in March, 1999, or whose most recent posting was 30-Aug-99, or every thread that died two weeks ago.
I am on Mudcat less and less these days, because there aren't as many discussions in which I'm interested, but I think things will probably ebb and flow this way over time. I think that giving all the users more ways to filter the Forum would be the best way to make the largest number of people with different interests happy...