Circles of trust or something similar. I frequent a forum where you can post to the general forum, or to a subset of trusted friends. That’s where the real action is, and once you get in the right circles, the discussion is even better. All of this is invisible to anonymous visitors though. While this isn’t great for the open internet, it is actually really good for the community.
By the way, what support is there for writing plugins currently? I’d love to get started experimenting with writing some.