The one thing that I really really wish we have would be some type of karma feature… basically, there needs to be some way to mark people as “can’t string a sentence together” or “constant trolling” or “microsoft hater”. Conversely, there should be a way to mark somebody as “excessively helpful” or “lover of knowledge” or “idea factory”.
In real life, if you want to have a better conversation, you just don’t allow jackasses to join in your conversation. You walk away, stand over on the side, or go somewhere else. You might have a public “discussion” that is watchable over YouTube or TV by thousands of people, but the people allowed to discuss are picked for their knowledge (sometimes). It seems like there should be an analog for that in the digital world, and especially on Discourse.
Perhaps if we had the ability to open a topic and then limit the replies to just people who aren’t idiots (a particular user level, for instance), we could have better conversation. The other people who weren’t invited would have to petition to be involved. I think there are other discussion systems that work this way, and I’m not saying that every topic would be like that. Just saying having that feature sometimes would be useful.
Or maybe having a “best of” view for every topic, that can be turned on optionally by users (as a default view), that filters out all of the trolls and idiots. Dunno if that would work well though, because the topic would be hard to read with missing posts. Better to prevent the dumb posts first.
I have nothing actionable on this topic, just my random thoughts.