The co-existence of categories and threads in the main view of the Forums area is confusing, especially since both tables look very similar.
In Social Office we can instead have the categories in the sidebar. Here's what I propose for this solution.
1. Remove the Categories from the main area
2. When there is no content, we can have a default "Home" category or a little help text that explain what one should do.
3. We can display the Categories in the left sidebar, with a breadcrumb to the current level, then the category and its siblings in alpha order; the selected category in bold; and the selected category's children shown below the selected category. For example:
crumb >> sub-crumb >> sub-sub-crumb >>
• Child A
• Child B
• Child C
The only problem is how to handle Add sub-category, Edit, and Permissions actions.