Questions A) to E) are questions about the discourse software. To be honest, I think the discourse team did a good job making it intuitive to understand - at least to a Millennial like myself.
A) 3 topics/month, as indicated by the “Topics” header at the top (topics are what you would call threads in other forums). You can also find this information by mouse-overing the 3/month number.
B) and E) Each of the colored blocks in the right hand side always refer to the categories and subcategories. The color scheme goes like (category color)|(subcategory color), where categories are Public Square, Scholars, etc and subcategories of, for example, the “Conversations” category are Front Porch, Book Club, etc. For example, the (blue)|(magenta) squares in “after 40 years, ‘megachurch’ pastors…” refer to the topic being in the “Conversation” category and “Articles” subcategory.
C) If you mouse over the number, discourse will give you an explanation: the more orange the number is, the higher the “like to post” ratio. The actual map between the like-to-post ratio and the color is something that @swamidass has control over in his Settings page.
D) Similarly, if you mouse over the dot, discourse will give you an explanation: a topic with a dot is new to you. By default, these are topics that are at most 2 days old and haven’t been read by you. Again, I believe @swamidass also has control on the number of days that topics are considered new.
@gbrooks9, are you colorblind by any chance? I am asking this because you confused the magenta box of the subcategory of Articles (which is a subcategory of the Conversation category) with the red box of the category of Public Square. This color scheme is very colorblind unfriendly. I think @swamidass should change it for this reason.