Sounds pretty cool, though obviously the complete redesign that it would necessitate may not be the best use of time and money
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Australian startup Tangler has created a next generation forum product that allows real-time discussions to occur without page refreshes. Their forum product is both synchronous and asynchronous - meaning it competes as much with Meebo (web based chat) as it does with existing forum applications. Users can also easily embed rich media into the discussion
Tangler forums are also decentralized. Any discussion/forum can easily be embedded in a third party website or websites. The discussion occurs simultaneously on all instances of the forum. See here for an example of an embedded forum.