Before starting a new thread please use the search function to see if there is an active thread about your area of inquiry. Since the site is over 3 years old, there is a very good chance there is an active discussion on what you would like to ask/talk about, especially the common ones (we all what those are
and if you don't you will learn very soon).
Also I have noticed more and more that other members have been posting links to ongoing topics or mods have been merging threads when a redundant topic is started and I think this is a great practice that should be encouraged. So when a common topic is started, instead of contributing to the discussion as if it has never been discussed (which I know is giving the new member the benefit of the doubt in most cases), a kind reminder of the search function or links should be provided. I know its easy to give our obligatory opinions on some of those very popular topics, but I think it would keep things more organized if we let the newer members know that it is already being discussed. Chances are they will find much more in an ongoing thread then a new one, in which certain members may choose not to post very relevant information, since they already did in a thread a few weeks ago.
When I used to post a skiing forum you would get blasted if you started a topic in the wrong forum or if you clearly didn't search beforehand. It was a nasty, yet very entertaining environment. I'm not trying to encourage that here, so let's be sure not make people feel stupid in these situations and provide some helpful direction. I just think it is a good practice and will only strengthen the community.
Thanks for listening.