Right, first of all, thanks for the feedback. Let's start by saying that, if we didn't know there was room for improvement, this thread would probably not have existed.
Secondly, I wish to point out that I believe, like several others here as well, that the voting system (or rating system as it should probably be renamed to) has already proven its worth, even though mostly on the downvoting side. I have gone through posts that gathered several downvotes, and in each case, the eventual post rating seemed fair. I personally believe this is working for two reasons. First, because the posts get hidden in the thread, allowing readers to quickly skip the pointless items. Secondly, because users with very negative ratings get put on the modqueue and are talked to. This has happened repeatedly, sometimes with positive outcome, sometimes with members getting banned. In both cases, the actions are justified and triggered by the community, which was the idea in the first place.
The downvotes that are given to posts that eventually end up with a neutral or positive rating is where the reason would come in handy, making the posters understand what is happening, and requiring the downvoters to think a moment before hitting the button. As said before, I'm working on that.
The positive ratings is where things are a bit more complicated and less efficient. People who want to see the system go also appear to target the upvotes in particular, as these are supposedly given for the wrong reasons. And indeed, they are sometimes.
However, what is probably lacking is a way to get value out of the ratings. Right now, this is limited to seeing the rating of a post, a thread or a member, but that's as far as it goes. Maybe we need to look for more possibilities here, creating an incentive for people to rate useful stuff while encouraging useful posts as well. Again, this was basically why the system was installed in the first place, replacing the postcount to prevent people from just posting to increase their rank.
Does this all make sense or am I on the wrong track?
In any case, a number of possibilities to make postcounts more useful could be
- A minimum post rating in the search form
- Some sort of highlite of the most recent upvoted post
- An accessible list (like "recent posts" or "active topics") that shows "recently rated posts"
Any thoughts / further ideas?