For many years we've used the Institutional Discussion Boards at our college to allow students and staff to share thoughts and ideas on any subject, related or unrelated to courses, and to post adverts on a Small Ads forum. We'd developed a simple tool using a database query and the Channels tool to create an RSS feed of the most recent posts, but since moving to Managed Hosting we've not been able to use this due to the direct database query no longer being possible.
We now just have a link to the discussion boards from our institutional home page, but without any "recent posts" information as an incentive to look.
I'm keen to make use of these discussion boards, but wondered what others do to promote them. We could create a simple advert to appear on the front page, but I'd be interested to hear if anyone's doing anything a bit more interesting or clever than that...any ideas would be gratefully received!