At least here people seem to overwhelmingly prefer the forum format over Reddit. But at least speaking about myself, I’ve known about the PrivacyTools website for years. I’ve also known about the PrivacyTools subreddit for years, it came up in my search results. I never bothered to register there to ask questions or contribute though. I don’t get the appeal of communicating in split threads about technological topics with adding upvotes and downvotes compared to the good old chronological way.
So I went on to PrivacyTools’ home page and double checked if they mention this forum at all or advertise it enough. Indeed it is mentioned at the bottom of the page next to Reddit adding the exact same emphasis to it. But I suspect the forum must be a newer addition. Indeed, I can confirm the forum is relatively newer by checking snapshots of PrivacyTools’ home page on the Wayback Machine. But it could be advertised more. If you agree the forum is a superior discussion format to Reddit. If you wan to direct traffic to your own domain compared to a questionable 3rd party.
From the PrivacyTools team, @Trai_Dep claims to be irony alert - an (ethical) digital marketer (his words). But if I were you guys I’d definitely try to raise more awareness to this forum. Do you know Linus Tech Tips? The guy on YoutTube with millions of subscribers. He keeps telling you at the end of all his videos that you should totally join his forum. Let me see. He has a Reddit page as well saying it’s the unofficial but officially recognized Reddit community discussing the latest LinusTechTips, TechQuickie and other LinusMediaGroup content. Probably that’s the way to go.
If you want more people to at least here about this forum you should market it, ethically of course a little more. Like mention it not on the bottom, but on the top of your home page with a phrase like: hey, we just opened this new forum (relatively recently), if you dislike Reddit now is your time to join a friendlier discussion. If I were you, I’d mention the forum in the About Community column on the right side of your Reddit page too. People on the Internet are lazy and distracted. You have to actively seek for their attention and tell them what you’d like them to do. Like me who didn’t even bother to scroll to the bottom of your home page probably in years to take note of the existence of your newish forum, lol. Probably many in your subreddit don’t even know about the existence of this forum either. But if they knew they’d switch over in a heartbeat. Many who only lurk on Reddit but not fans of the platform would probably join too.