Before addressing this question, you have to understand how things work in the background. Essentially, Nabble has a node-architecture that resembles a file system, where forums (and other apps) are like folders and posts are like files. Forums and posts can be pinned to their parent in order to always be displayed on top. Here is an illustration:
Only forum owners can pin sub-forums and topics. Actually, sub-forums created by owners are automatically pinned, and this makes a big difference to the forum structure. Nabble gives more priority to pinned sub-forums when it comes to how the forum front page looks. Unpinned sub-forums (also called floating sub-forums) are not part of the real forum structure and they float like normal topics. Here is a screenshot:
As you can see, floating sub-forums aren't much different than normal topics (except they have a folder icon close to them). When they receive new posts, they jump to the top just like other topics that receive new replies.
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