As a newcomer, who has not participated in l77,000 of your conversations, some of this really is frustrating. You may know what you are talking about, but a newcomer does not. Do you think "hints' for newcomers' could be clarified??
I am relatively new, but I can give you some suggestions for ways to manage the conversations on these boards.
1. Use the "Forum List" link when you want to post a question or comment starting a new thread. The "General Topics" will guide your choice of thread. If you are stuck, pick "Miscellany". Make the title of your post specific to catch the eye of potential responders. Use this link, also, to find topics of interest to you.
2. Bookmark the "Active Topics: Past 24 Hours" link. If you check this regularly, you can keep an eye on the newest postings.
3. You might lose track of where you have posted (I have!), but you can always find your posts by following the "My Stuff: My Posts" link (it's at the bottom). You can also check anyone else's posts by clicking on the poster's name and scrolling to "View Posts" at the bottom.
4. If you find something too obscure to be familiar to you, you have many choices. Ignore it. Google it. Wiki it. Ask in a post. If you are worried about appearing "dumb", you have the option of sending a PM (Private Message) to anyone asking whatever you like.
5. Be a duck with the frustration. It will ease up as you learn when to do which from #4.
I hope this helps! :0)