I have two suggestions for the site that have come to mind recently and I just thought I’d get them off my chest here, where it looks like about 1% of the site may accidentally fall upon it.
#1: I think a user’s Ignore List should be revealed on their member page. I think this for two reasons: a) I think a person has a right to know in a discussion whether they are being ignored by other contributors to the discussion, for the interest of clarity if nothing else; and ii) it looks like members, as a group, have widely diverging lists of reasons for putting people on ignore. In some cases, it sounds like it’s done in response to isolated discussions in which a person became offended (even if they were not participating in the discussion). If a member is being ignored, I think that member has a right to know about it and, if interested, inquire privately about the reason.
I don’t like the ignore feature myself very much, but I understand that many members seem to find value in it. If used excessively, the site becomes many isolated voices screaming into a void, which serves nobody. My personal goal is to have a 0% Ignore score— I don’t come here with the intention of offending anybody. However, I do sometimes post with the intention of being humorous, and because that endeavor is completely out of my league I’m afraid that I may clumsily offend people with the effort. If I did that, I would want to know about it so that I would at least be given the opportunity to apologize or clarify or respond in some productive way. Letting people have a secret ignore list doesn’t solve mistakes or misunderstandings. That’s not all I have to say about it, but that’s enough or now.
#2: My second suggestion I feel a lot less comfortable with. This is one of the least moderated sites around, and I like that feature. I just wonder if more public admonishing by the mods when discourse gets uncivil might create a more user friendly environment. Sometimes it feels like if anybody wants to find where the line of behavior is you have to cross it. More public notice of when people are entering the red zone may stop people before they get there and keep situations from getting out of hand. Behavior doesn’t seem to be that big an issue, though, particularly for a free and open site like this, so maybe this only seems necessary right now because it happens to be a recent hot topic.