I added a link to the community forum menu item.
There are two flavors of "New Posts"
1. Active topics - these are what are listed on the front page and the recent posts link. these are items in order from most recent post. for example this post will move right to the top of the list as soon as I hit Post.
2. the next flavor is user dependent. after you login it can tell what you have not seen since you were last logged in. this is what the new menu item does. it does not represent any activity or popularity like the above does. Many people like this format and now you have it!
Thanks for the input.