We have a new feature: usergroup-private discussion threads.
Up until now, user groups have always used wiki nodes for intra-group discussion; but wikis are pretty suboptimal for this purpose. (They remain useful for other purposes, such as collaboratively maintained documentation.) The esteemed chromatic made such as observation way back when the concept of the wiki nodetype was first proposed:
IMHO wikis are best suited to accumulating community resources and keeping them relevant. I do not think that for general discussion that a wiki makes more sense than the usual noding. But if a topic comes up often, summarizing it in a wiki would make sense.
So this new feature is intended to replace the use of wikis for discussion.
One main way in which these threaded discussions are different from the regular sections is that nodes are not votable and will always have reputation zero — the idea being that it wouldn't be fair for a monk to be able benefit monetarily from posts which are not accessible to the general public.
Consequent to that, replies are always shown newest first.
Whenever someone posts a direct reply to a group — which is essentially a top-level post under a group — it sends a message to all members of the group, something like this:
This idea was initially floated and developed in Create new [pmdev]-only section "Pmdev Discussion" and Create new [gods]-only section "Gods Forum". But note that the final implementation of the feature did not adhere to the designs suggested in those threads.