I'm not sure if there have been many changes to make content distribution through MCF besides the "prefix" system, but here's another that could help.
Basically, in content sections only (resource packs, mods, maps, servers) threads will have their own feeds that users can use to post updates and other information on. Users can follow this separately from the thread itself, allowing them to get notified of updates without the OP needing to respond to their own thread.
This feature would be VERY similar to the "profile feed" system. It could be be (optionally) showed on a user's profile feed (with a link to the thread) and also as separated section, sort of like "all updates" in "community status updates" but as a section like "content" or split between content type. This would give users a new way to discover content besides when it was last posted on.
How is this useful? It allows users to follow something and get a direct message from the author, without requiring a "bump" of the thread or the user getting notifications because of users posting on that thread.
Additional options include no notifications, but a way to check the most recent "status update" of all "watched thread feeds" (you choose "watch thread feed" but don't check "notify me when thread feed status updates"), receive a "timed" update (notified every week of the most recent change if there is any change), also "major" and "minor" updates which would give the option of "only notify me of major updates".
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"I'm an outsider by choice, but not truly.
It’s the unpleasantness of the system that keeps me out.
I’d rather be in, in a good system. That’s where my discontent comes from:
being forced to choose to stay outside.
My advice: Just keep movin’ straight ahead.
Every now and then you find yourself in a different place."