I was a daily reader before the format changed. I tried to continue with the new site but it is not nearly as user friendly as the old version, and as a result I now only peruse once every few weeks, if even that often. I did not even realize that I was not still logged in until just now reading this thread.
The old site was laid out with a format that was more like a continuous group text that one could jump in and out of at will. I could scroll through the topics list and tell immediately who had commented last, and click the flag to jump right back in to the last post I read. Now I have to actively either jump to the end and read backwards to try and figure out where I left off, or re-read everything from the beginning to figure out where I left off. It is really inconvenient to the point where I would rather wait a few weeks or more to let the comments build up, then spend the time catching up. The ability to jump in and respond on the fly was one of the best features of the old site that this one does not have.
Along with that, I don’t need all the extra info about each commenter (ranking, stats, etc) filling up the page. It gets in the way of the conversation. The old site had name and comment, which was enough. You could click on the name if you wanted to find out more about them but it wasn’t clogging up the conversation all the rest of the time. Currently the repeated username stats take up more room than the content, at least on the mobile version.
Lastly the font/color scheme was more friendly to read with the old format, once again more like a text thread. Not sure how to describe it other than it allowed the posts to be read and flow more like a conversation than it does currently. The new site feels more stuffy, or proper, like the difference between working at the office and relaxing at home. The old version welcomed everyone as family. This site just greets with a stiff handshake. And it’s not because of the users, they are still around. The vibe changed exactly when the new format was applied.
For the record I have always accessed both old and new sites through the phone and not a laptop/desktop so not sure how it views there. If there is a way to get modify this site to have more of the feel and ease of use of that the old one had, I think the use would increase again.