Nice poll - fun topic! (Score: 5, Interesting) by firstname.lastname@example.org on 2014-07-15 19:04 (#2GW) There's an option missing, as performed by Popular Science: shut down all communication. Lack of communication is still a form of communication. It's a fringe option, though it's one I wish more news sites would look into. (I'm sick of running across people who'd like to just shoot all them immigrints what're here to steal our jobs an' vote for Obama!!!)Here's what I'd like to see. I'm putting heavy emphasis on tagging below because it's a form of "silent speech" - it's something that the mythical Moderate Middle or Silent Reader can do without expending much effort, and thus should encourage more participation, even from people who are afraid to speak up.Take the Slashdot/Reddit system of up/down tags and expand it so posts can have multiple tags.Expand the number of predefined tags to cover things like "Disagree" and "Rude" - it's dumb when people use "Troll" as a synonym for "I disagree" and the tagging system should discourage that by actually including terms people will want to use - even if it doesn't give them a positive or negative value on the back end.Get rid of the public +1 and -1 associated with each tag. They're still there, they're just hidden and can be changed up as you get to know the site's community.By default, do not apply negative modifiers to tags like "Disagree". Just show the tag. Users can apply their own +/- filters for tags, but they've got to log in and build their filters. The default modifiers should be heavy on the positives and light on the negatives to promote discussion.Allow users to vote on tags people already added instead of supplying their own. Up-voting or down-voting a tag is the same as sending in a tag for that post - you only get one vote per post. Plus, it's instant meta-moderation - a lot of people disagreeing that something is Funny means that tagger's idea of funny is off for your audience.Allow users to tag their own post, but don't give that tag any + or - value. "Ohhh, they were going for Funny with that comment."When people get enough highly-rated posts (whatever "enough" is) in a specific topic (judged by the tags on the topics they post in) like "law" and "engineering" and "linux", tag those users as "linux-expert" or "law-hobbyist" or whatever. They could remove or downgrade their own expertise-tags, of course.Aggregate post tags and apply them to the user - "Rude", "Helpful", "Controversial", or whatever. Positive tags could serve as a form of rank; negative tags would serve as a warning. It doesn't have to be public, though. I'm of two minds on that.Allow people to use the friend/foe/following stuff - they're going to anyway. Keep an eye on those friend/foe/follow networks though - anyone who +1s the same person's posts, or all posts that are about the MPAA being good guys, or whatever, needs to be examined by moderators.Keep moderators around. Someone's got to boot the spammers and spank the trolls, plus humans seem to be better at spotting voting rings than machines are.Make the comments part of the "story". Include them in the RSS feed, promote the ones that elaborate on the topic with more information and resources, have a "comment of the week", etc. If you want a community, hand out community status, put the community in the public eye, make the community members famous.I put way too much thought into this and then edited it down to just the bare bones. I hope it's coherent.