It all gone to social media. I don't know what the answer is, but it probably lies in some form of further integration with those platforms. The ducks are out there, waiting for tasty morsels of duck fodder (don't give them buns, it's bad for their tums).
Tbh, I wandered back here, nostalgically remembering the days when I couldn't keep up with forum posts, and never felt like I belonged, only to find it quieter than Comic Fury now (which is quite lively, despite its smaller, and seemingly more youthful crowd)
Someone mentioned - when I was bemoaning 1: lack of comments 2: increased readership after finishing 2 comics - that the fact that SO many people now read on their ‘phones’ now,that they're less likely to join in…and a lot of people are so fed up of unfinished efforts now, that they only read completed ones.
So I'm dubious about your suggested solutions, 'Scarfy, old chum