Thanks for the topic, which is of course of great interest to those of us at CHOICE who are working on choice.community.
Our hope is for the community to be a place where Australians can give and receive help with consumer problems, as well as exchanging information. The first step is to foster a positive and helpful community – I think that together we are doing that.
There are some threads that get a bit heated, and sometimes someone will step over the line. This usually starts with someone assuming bad faith on the part of another and questioning their motives. However mildly expressed, this is one accusation that never fails to annoy. So if you do see someone kicking it off, please do use the Flag feature. And if you see something helpful, please use the Heart. Over time, this will tell the system who the most helpful people are, and give their posts more prominence. I reckon if we can work to establish a place of mutual respect then even the most contentious issues can be aired, debated, and brought to a place where an engaged reader can figure out which argument is well supported and which is bunk.
So unlike a lot of other forums we have a dedicated moderator in @BrendanMays, and we have ground rules that we're serious about, and we even have a dedicated software developer who can modify the platform and add features. I reckon a couple of useful features would be a better Q&A system, and a product/service review template. If you have feature ideas that would make choice.community more useful, please tell us about them.
And we have each other. Everyone here has been invited because you're an engaged CHOICE member or supporter (for those of you who've been around a while, you'll start to see an INVITE button at the bottom of each page, which gives you the power to issue invitations by email as well). CHOICE board members and experts are on here as well, chiming in with questions and answers of their own.
So I reckon we're in with a chance of making something special, useful and helpful for Australian consumers, if we want to