I've only found this forum in just the last few days, so I'm new to it. But I'm not new at all to forums in general. That can be evidenced by the fact that I'm the only member here with an Avatar. Maybe others don't know what an Avatar is.
Anyway, with my business I have memberships on several forums, some with many thousands of members. This is what I've seen and on some of those forums, how to avoid or handle spamming and other problems has been a hot topic for conversation.
One huge problem that occurs as membership grows is that we see many people get free memberships but have virtually no interest in the subject matter of the forum. They just like to see their words in print. But if they don't know a whole lot about the topic, they get corrected, then they get beligerent and then there's a confrontation. It's no fun. Some forums are nothing more than profanity filled wizzing contests. We could go a long way toward preventing this if this forum required the following:
Password each time you visit.
No guests are allowed to post. While they are certainly welcome to read the posts, they cannot post without becoming members.
In order to be a member, each person needs to fill in the required fields: name, location and have an email from an ISP other than a free one. No hotmail or yahoo accounts.
Also, for location, saying your location is: "Duh, sitting at my computer, you moron" is NOT acceptable.
The locations need to be a city, state and or country that can be reviewed by the moderators. Uh, are there any moderators here?
Personally, I can already see that the nature of boatbuilding has drawn a much higher caliber member than any other forum I've been on. So, this may not ever be a problem anyway. I hope not. I like it here. The nature of some forums, such as one dedicated to hot rodding Mustangs, naturally tends to draw a large percentage of mental pygmies. Not that Mustangs are for the stupid, but you're always getting into that "my car's faster than yours, man" stuff and how can you have a Ford forum without Chevy guys stirring things up? And vice a versa. I think you get my drift.