Some even copied the title of the previous thread and pasted it on the new thread - this is irresponsible and intolerable!
No it isn't. The main goal of this forum (at least the regional ones) is to answer questions from people who aren't regular members here. We want to make things as easy for them as possible. 80% of the information they get in return to their questions could undoubtedly be answered without any interaction at all - it's all been said before, and google knows it. But the remaining 20% offers truly unique insights and new tidbits of information; atmosphere and a real personal approach and everything.
Requiring new members to stick to (to them) incomprehensible rules and making them search and waste time catagorizing and selecting the specific forum to post in and all that has only one effect: heightening the barrier of entry. The amount of new members posting would go down. The regular members here would get too caught up with just each other, and they'd really start to feel like everything had already been discussed before, so that whenever a new member would dare post a question, they'd get a snippy "search the forums, this has been said before" answer, rather than a nice and thoughtful reply specific to their own unique situation.
I have seen forums go down that route. It's not a pretty sight.
(Your investment forum is different, because it's mostly geared toward serving a group of people who are long-time members, rather than having a constant influx of new members - it also sounds like it's suffering under its own success.)
Another suggestion is: with some rooms spared for specific regional helpers. Say if UK helpers would respond only for posts dealing with UK ONLY in the 'UK helpers room'
I'm not a helper, but personally I like responding to everything that I feel I can add some useful information to. And a lot of things go beyond the barrier of just a single country. Whenever I talk about the Great Ocean Road in Australia, I compare it to the Pacific Coast Highway in the USA. Not really relevant perhaps, but who knows - it might just give someone, unrelated to the original poster, who's seen one the desire to go and see the other as well.
the message is clear and systematic.<snip> Make it focus and efficient.
I like things wooly and vague and flowing over into other things and wonderfully uncertain. We're dealing with people and travel here - with experiences of a lifetime - not financial information.