TheMadScientist - 9:00 pm on May 28, 2010 (gmt 0)
If that's not an invitation for me to post IDK what is...
1.) Compile and publish an 'allowed site list' on a per forum basis, generated and maintained by the mods so visitors can reference the list and know if there are 'pre-approved' sites they can link to prior to posting links.
* Anyone should be able to link to these sites, even the owner, as long as the privilege is not abuse. (EG: I have a link or two to one of my sites from here, and there are times when it's much more detailed and informative than I'm going to sit and retype here, so a general answer is sufficient with more specifics covered on the site... That's how it got the link(s) and it's not something I've even wanted to or would think of abusing, but since others have linked and mods have agreed it's an 'authority' on the subject, then it should IMO be linkable by anyone as long as it's not abuse.)
2.) Turn the auto-linking system into auto-purging so non-approved links are removed. (At least from view. Possibly with a flag set in the post and an auto-notification sent to the mod of the forum so they can review and add, rather than review and snip. To be added the SITE must be approved, not the page. IOW: Snip by default, adding is a bonus, and sites are either allowed or not... Exceptions in certain cases could be made.)
* Allowing a method to suggest a site be added could also be a good idea.
3.) Create a site verification process much like G and Y use for site ownership which verifies a site for 30 days and allows a poster to post URLs (non-linked?) in the technical forums (EG: JS/AJAX, PHP, Perl, CSS), and charge a nominal fee for the verification and URL to be allowed.
Personally, I'd charge $4.95 to $9.95 for 30 days verification, because it's a nominal fee, the help, tutorials, instruction they get for free here could cost much more if they had to pay someone to write a 'custom lesson' and if they can't afford a $5 or $10 to fix their site when it's broken and help support the forums, then they can continue to generalize the posts.
* Only a site Owner would be able to place a text URL to their site. Only one site per profile. Verification date present in their profile so if we want to make sure we're helping the owner and not someone else we can.
4.) The same type system of PPV (Pay-Per-Verification) could be used for a 'what's wrong with my site' or page section of the forums. (This solves the 'report other's spam indirectly' issue too, because by verifying ownership, charging and allowing us to see the verification we can be more re-assured about the site we might visit or review by that of the poster's.)
So: In some forums all but approved links are auto-deleted, having one added should count as a bonus, but approved sites are posted and easily found prior to posting. Sites can be suggested for addition on an 'as mod time allows' basis. (Some exceptions allowed, of course)
In the 'technical' forums a nominal fee and proof of ownership allows you to post a URL if you can't adequately describe an issue or need to have someone take a look to help you fix it.
In a 'review' (SEO type review, what's wrong?) setting, ownership is verified for a fee (Slightly higher, $19.95?) and you are allowed to post / ask questions about it in a specific forum for 30 days.
In any case, one site per verification, one verification per profile. Verification lasts 30 days. If you need to ask questions later or want another site verified you can pay again and if it's a different site the initial one is dropped. All other sites not on the approved list are auto-purged...
Seems to allow more 'knowledge of what's allowed' in each forum by having an approved list associated with each, a better ability for those truly interested in improving their sites the ability to do so in specific forums, and better financial support for the forums, because I think there are quite a few here who would probably pay a nominal fee to get some feedback on or help with a specific site since you could charge about the same as it costs for a bottle of Asprin and they could probably get help solving the underlying reason(s) for the headache.