Let's take a trip back through time, way back to the early days of computer connectivity, back before Facebook, Myspace, blogging, instant messaging, and even back before chat rooms. Bulletins boards, well I think that is going too far back, but somewhere in that gap between bulletin boards and chat rooms there thrived this entity formally called the Usenet (Wikipedia), but also called newsgroups or discussion forums.
It was a simple, text only system, broken into various specializations where people could post questions and then others would post answers, although in the political groups, it was more along the lines of posting a rant only to be countered by an equally strong rant from the other side. It was threaded which made it easier to enter a discussion and addess only 1 post of interest. The heyday for this technology was from the mid-90's until about 2000, although it still exists today. Google still track the Usenet (under the "Groups" link). There was a very good group on polymers but being unmoderated, the Usenet has fallen into a huge trash heap of endless spam and is now largely ignored. (Looking at the archive, postings have fallen from a high of not quite 500/month to less than 10/month, and as you may also notice, I contributed quite a bit to the group over the years.)
The whole point of this post is that the Usenet served a valuble purpose that has not been replaced. Discussion groups do exist, but they are nowhere near as active as the Usenet was, and they seem mostly to be filled with students looking for someone to do their homework for them.
I do miss taking a swing at the questions, and while I do occasionally get such questions from people who stumble upon this blog, they are few and far between. I'm going to try and set up a questions box on the sidebar and see if that can change things. If anybody knows a simple way to do this, I'd be happy to take any shortcuts - "Dang it Jim, I'm a polymer scientist, not an HTML coder!"