Shaddows - 8:59 am on Sep 18, 2012 (gmt 0)
I suppose, if you wanted an ambitious project, you could have a top-down approach. In these authority-resistant times, it's more often called "seeding".
If Mods and Admins gave an "Expert" (or less loaded term) badge within SPECIFIC fora, newbies and casual visitors could tell who was who. "Experts" could then nominate new experts, with mods having casting votes and veto powers. Max
It's less cliquey, but more open to abuse, and potentially divisive. And highly likely to cause resentment if "expert" status did not reflect majority opinion (which would be the whole point of a top-down approach anyway).