Being courteous, as Michael himself is a prime example, and as so many others, is always good. Saying thank you to those who take time reading your poems is good, commenting those who comment your poetry is good. But not all these processes would necessary aid our poetry. The politeness, the etic of returning compliments, do not necessary the etic of a poetry site, or any artistic community.
If you expect someone to say: your dress looks good too, after you complimented her dress, is more justified, then if someone writes a master peace and you compliment his/her piece, expecting that person right away to return the compliment on a poem that you just wrote and might not be your best, or he/she doesn't find it great. If that person compliments you out of politeness , etic, or whatever reason, when s/he is not really satisfied with its quality, that is dishonesty in my opinion. That also show s/he doesn't care enough about you, to let you know, which of your poems aren't ripped, reached their prim or ending…yet, if not by saying something, at least by saying nothing.
I know in the site like ours writing critical analysis or constrictive criticism is impossible. Do not try, it doesn't work, trust me. First because most of us are not good at it ( criticizing). Second, we do not really want to change, we want support. Third, the act of sugar coding, specially in this site, is so advanced that sometimes even a less sugar coded compliment would sound impolite and rude.
Here most of the supper active members are so polite and obey all the rules of curtsy and politeness. I saw sometimes that obedience obligates them to over use some adjectives to the verge of exhaustion: Masterpiece… (good poems are very objective, but masterpiece? not that much) And honestly when we calling average works of a rising poet, masterpiece, are we really helping?
In the other hand here we have poets like Satish Varma, who is very strong, though he never responds to any comments, and never comments either. In his case, the fact that his poems are extremely strong is irrelevant; he rarely gets compliment or nomination, or ... So, this example makes it obvious that the popularity of our members and their poetry has less thing to do with the quality of their works, and more to do with how they can present themselves and use the courtesy and sweet talking, as a marketing tool.
All these said. The system we have here is not perfect, but it works. There are lots of good poems created and admired here. The judging system has improved a lot. Judges, particularly the latest panel, give chance to everybody equally not only to old members or some special people.
In the end here I just stated my opinion, please do not come lunching at me saying who you think you are telling us what to do. I am not. I’ve just said my side of the story, as I see it, as Michael asked, and as civil as passible. If we do not have difference of opinion, we do not need to converse and disuss anything.