I think it would be fair to state that you can generally tell the health of a Shards population but the activity and interaction on its Forums. Over the years I have noticed that when a server is doing well you will have a lot of participation on forums. When people stop by to check out a server( To join it) private or OSI they normally look at the action and involvement on forums.. I think it is highly important to let people see there is participation so they do not see a lifeless and UN-FUN server.. It is kinda like dating you have to see something appealing to draw you in..other wise it is a glance and move on. I know this sounds shallow and it may not be the best analogy however its the best I can come up with at this moment. Other opinions are welcome.