- the ability to earn and give reputation points for good answers
- the ability to easily find threads that a given user has contributed to
- the ability to search across multiple groups easily.
I've been trying to put my finger on why, exactly, I prefer newsgroups and I think it all boils down to flexibility. Because they are based on NNTP, an Internet standard, there are many clients that are capable of participating. That gives the user total control over his reading/posting experience. Contrast that with most phpBB-style forums, where the most control you usually have is the color scheme and whether or not you want a "flat" view or a threaded one.
The other big win, for me, that newsgroups have is the tight integration with my email; because I use Thunderbird all day to read multiple email accounts and RSS feeds, newsgroups fit right in like just another account. So, for me, it's flexibility and integration that win out.
In the comments to Wayne's post, someone mentioned FUDforum and it's newsgroups bridge. To me, this sounds like the best-of-both-worlds solution. It even has email list integration, so potentially we could offer total flexibility in how users participate: NNTP, web, or email, take your pick. To me that is an ideal solution.
So, are there any other options available? Either competitors to FUDforum that can bridge between web and NNTP, or some completely different technology? Remember, what I consider important is flexibility, giving choice and control of the client to the user, and integration with software I'm already using every day.