Just to add some details about my specific use case: the legacy forum software we’re migrating from is limited but simple and our members have a wide range of ages and levels of technical proficiency. We have set up a Discourse instance for members to try out while we prepare to migrate and we have had a few comments that it is quite overwhelming.
I think that is just the learning curve – I feel that way a little myself, and I am an IT professional. Once people get used to the change I think they will see Discourse is a clear improvement over the legacy software.
What I am worried about is losing people before they reach that stage. If users are sent back to the first post of a 1,000-post topic the first time anyone posts a reply to an imported thread, that is a big hit to usability, and I think it’s possible some members will just give up. So I am really keen to mark all imported posts as read and allow users to get straight to the new material.
I did search the archive before posting this, but didn’t find anything that answered this specific question.