A system whereby if you agree strongly with something someone said but have nothing to add you can press a button that adds some kind of graphic star or tick to the thread. so that a good point might aquire lots of ticks.
and if it was decided that negativity is acceptable then crosses could also be added.
Reputation regarding threads and posts, positive and negative, with comments from the people awarding it available to the member making the post, is a feature of vBulletin 3.x – but it was not activated on SDMB, I presume for bandwidth reasons. (Admins.? Is this reason correct?)
Mmm. At first blush, I’m thinking that this would be a bad idea. There’s already more than enough polarization in political threads – I think it would be a mistake to implement a procedure where people could make their points by clicking a button, rather than composing a (hopefully reasonable and insightful) post in support or rebuttal. Particularly if negative feedback is used, I can just see an extended rating war in addition to a flamefest. Yuck.
I think the rating system should be activated in GQ. Not necessarily for threads, but for posts. Some threads have a high noise to signal ratio and in some of the long ones you’d rather not read the incorrect speculations and skip right to Q.E.D’s post. cough.
The only place I have seen this work was on a “Hot Deals” forum where you could say whether a deal was actually good or not. Every other forum where I’ve seen this feature has ended up with a handful of 5-star posts and nothing else with anything. And every 5-star post was obviously good anyway due to the tons of comments. People just don’t care to rate posts that they don’t comment on.
We have moderators to do our moderating. If a thread or post is particularly bad, it will be deleted or edited by the moderators. And for good threads or posts, it doesn’t take long for the smart folks here to figure out who’s knowledgeable and who’s not. If the members are good enough at recognizing the good posts to rate them, then they’re good enough that they don’t need a rating system.