Right on, Abe. I like all your suggestions except #4. Why would you want a damn pony? If you’re in the request business, then ask for a UNICORN.
I’d amend this list to say #4: put the ENTIRE discussion back on the main thread on the blog. Because of #3 - more stabbiness and disemvowellment, less assholery will be appearing, and therefore will not be off-putting on the main blog item. My understanding was that this was a major driving factor for going to the BBS. But I think there could be a happy medium, where we get back what was lost but don’t have to give up the BBS.
Having the full brunt of the content and comments all there in your face was a Wonderful Thing, in itself. Now, when you want to comment, you have to go to the bbs, and then the content isn’t there - to get back to it you have to click and click and click to find the original. I think the solution should be a blend of the blog & BBS, making sure the full commentary lands back on the front page not just a digest of the “best”. ALL of it. To get that quality, blast the crap and limit the number of posts generally.
Personally, I think a global max of 5 posts for ANY one item is plenty. I see very little value in posting more than 5 times or having a 5-time back-and-forth with anyone. Most of the time anything longer than 4 replies has already turned into a pissing match, and I don’t even read 'em. I don’t think you’d be losing anything by cutting back on the number of long back-and-forths between 1 or 2 people. Sure, they’ll object because they want to go on ad nauseum, but really, nobody else reads that shit and it’s useless.
Let’s say you post a hot topic and 100 people read it. My guess is that of those 100 people, you’ll get less than 5 of them doing a back-and forth. Of the remaining 100, you’ll have, I’m guessing, 5 more people, MAXIMUM who will read all of the back and forth clear to the end. You’ll have another 20 people who make a separate, substantive comment. That leaves 70 people who don’t give a flying f*rq about MOST of the comments. You’ll have to run your own numbers, but this is my guesstimate based on feel. Summary: allowing runaway back-and-forths does not benefit the site.
While allowing SOME back-and-forth does.