Steve Jones - SSC Editor (4/29/2013)
What's the nod you want to give? I'm not completely sure what you're looking for here.
Is this a way to note how many shares of a topic? Or how many people like it?
I'm interested because we are discussing expanding the rating system. I dislike a 1-5 scale because people rate based on different factors. I'd like something more concrete.
for example: When Hugo Kornelis joins a discussion on a QotD, especially one that has gone wrong... Hugo is an exceptional commenter. He informs/corrects/explains in a way that, in many cases, the original QotD author should have. I would like to able to give some form of virtual credit to Hugo for taking the time to write such thoughtful responses. One way to accomplish that is to quote him and write simply "+1" That would generate a new comment notification to potentially hundreds of prior participants in the discussion. I know I am disappointed to follow the link in the notification email to read instead of continuing discusion, just a "+1" We can thank Facebook and Google+ for teaching us to signal our "likes" and "me too" via some 1-click... I also know it's not appropriate to clutter a discussion with meta-signalling around the discussion. The "in real life" social cue equivalent is that when someone says something you agree with, you'd nod your head or smile to indicate this.
I envision something along the lines of a sidebox (like IFCode shortcuts) that gives the reader an opportunity to "+1", "like", or "favorite" (thanks Twitter) the comment they're reading. A public "count" of likes on a comment creates a bias, so I'd have to carefully consider displaying a count. The points already at work on SSC give some indication how "seasoned" the author may be - and that's a good measure. I'm asking for some social equivalent. It would be given by the readers/members/community to those who actively do a good job building the environment I'm currently getting value from. Now the inevitable leaderboard comes into question. I don't think it's particularly motivating to see hundreds of thousands of points in #1 while I've been trying my hardest to get a hundred measly points. This is easily solved by adding a time range. So most "+1" in a day/week/month keeps the competition on a level field. Honestly, I know you weren't expecting active competition with those points but it's part of human nature to gamify any ranking system. (if you think the points don't matter, score a QotD incorrectly and watch the ensuing chaos in the discussion that follows)
I didn't want to go into too much detail in the first request because I didn't know if it was something you'd be interested in implementing. I do enjoy brainstorming, though - so if you wanted to continue to bounce ideas back & forth, that'd be very cool. ttyl