I can be very honest and say I hadn't read it before. I'm a member of some other forums so I have a general feeling of netiquette and how you should act on the internet and on forums. But when I read through it some things made me think about what I've seen here that seemed contradictory to the code of conduct (from here on out the CoC).
Now I really wished I bookmarked every single topic/post I found something on but unfortunately not. Well, here goes:
The CoC says "Only meaningful posts, please". To me, that is a post that contains some kind of discussion value and of some relevance. In other words, a post that contains more than a one-liner. The classic "+1" comes to mind (or +10, +100, +1000, +10*10^100, even some +2's. Sometimes members use actual words but they say as much: yes, agreed, indeed etc). I see this in many of the topics here and it pisses me off. To me that's a typical way of "Attempts to artificially increase your post count" (taken straight from the CoC). It doesn't add any value to the topic and posts with actual discussion or arguments gets washed away in the current.
Off-topic posts are also something I can't see as meaningful. Also topics which themselves contain no discussion value at all (example: viewtopic.php?f=91&t=50704). I think posts like this should award a warning and removal of the post itself. Re-occurring infractions leads to suspension and ultimately, a ban.
The CoC says "Play nice". Most of the time I think this rule is followed very well on this forum but not everyone's perfect. Sometimes a discussion will get heated and when it does... most of the time not much happens. In some threads I've seen a moderator trying to calm everything down by telling people to back off. Sometimes this is enough, sometimes the flame war continues and a moderator locks the thread after a couple of more posts/pages. Some topics have a really good discussion going on if you can look past the flaming. Wouldn't it be more appropriate to remove the posts going out of control and give warnings to the members involved instead? This prevents good threads being locked and the creation of exact replicas since the old one was locked.
Other things that comes to mind at the moment are:
- Topics posted in the wrong forum section, or not as right as it could be. See the general topics of the Thought and Suggestions forum. Many topics could be placed in the more precise sub-forums.
- Endless amount of topics about the same discussion. As an example, in the last month or two I've seen half a dozen new topics about EM$ offers, and I guess there are countless more. Is it possible to merge these topics to one big thread? Something like "The only thread about EM$ offers". Make these kind of threads for all topics that get re-posted often, server problem etc.
- Members don't use the search function. I've seen countless threads when the original poster starts with "I've used the search function but couldn't find anything so...". Sometimes I try and search for the same things as the topic and many times I actually find the information that's requested, either on the forum or on the Wiki. No repercussion for this makes people lazy.
- Topic headings that doesn't match the content of the topic or are totally misleading. When you look at a heading for a new topic you should understand what it's about the same moment you lay your eyes on it, not have to guess the content. Example: viewtopic.php?f=91&t=50623. Or viewtopic.php?f=91&t=50332. Or viewtopic.php?f=91&t=50321. Good example: viewtopic.php?f=91&t=50310.
- People ranting about everything. Sure, these rants have some substance but the discussion value is often lacking and people use posts and topics like this just to let off steam. A sub-forum only for ranting would be better, so that more constructive discussions doesn't get hindered.
I can probably come up with more but not at the moment, I'll edit this post and add if I can think of anything else. Not all of the above is extremely serious but using the forum would be a lot easier if people thought a bit more before they posted. Warnings and maybe even suspensions should be used more liberally though, in my opinion. Personally I would like to warn people not using proper capitalization, spelling and grammar when writing but I understand that that's totally excessive moderation.
There's a lot that could be improved but that requires work, and apart from the EW staff there's only 8 moderators on this forum (if that's how you should count it: memberlist.php?mode=group&g=11) and the amount of activity from the members here is quite intense.
I don't know how the moderation works on this forum, but on another forum I regularly frequent the moderators have responsibilities for smaller sub-forums instead of the forum as a whole. Is this forum managed in the same way or not? I believe it would be easier moderating here if there were 1-3 moderators on each sub-forum (General Chat, Thoughts and Suggestions, Other Games & Tech Talk etc). The workload would be a lot lighter and it would be easier catching topics in the wrong place and move them to the correct location, and many other things.
Another thing is to encourage members to use the report button more often. I've used it a couple of times but if I reported all of the things I've written about here I would worry about being too nit-picky and a enormous pain in the behind to all the moderators. Is it perceived as good manners to (very) often report things you deem being no good value for the forum?
That's about all I have to say in this, for now. I hope someone actually has the energy to read all this (especially the staff and the moderators, but also members) and give your input in the matter. I'll try to do my part and use the report button more frequently, until I get a warning for excessive meddling!