In the early days of WPf2b the WP (WordPress.org) support forum was a friendly place and covered more than just support. As WPf2b matured so did the forum, but recently things have changed – and not for the better.
WP plugin pages – for all plugins, not just WPf2b - are now a magnet for 1-star drive-by “reviews”, typically only a few words long; “Didn’t work” is a perennial favourite. They’re neither helpful for the plugin author, nor for anyone trying to judge the quality of the plugin before installing.
I say “drive-by” as almost without exception the poster didn’t ask for support before posting. Maybe they think a 1-star “review” will get them priority support, maybe they’ve just got poor impulse control – I’ve really no idea. What I do know is that it creates a corrosive and hostile environment in which to provide any support at all.
Another major issue is that plugin authors have very little control over the forum. Yes, it’s possible to flag things for moderator review, but that quickly wears thin for all parties: “Sir! Sir! There’s another nasty troll Sir! Please, Sir!” - no, I think not. I now understand why many (most?) paid plugins ignore the WP forums completely.
Rather than abandon support for the free version of WPf2b, I’ve decided to move to a platform where I have control. There are badges for good behaviour (apparently people like that kind of thing), and all sorts of anti-troll devices on the admin side.
The new forums should be a healthy and interesting place to be – please come join me!