Just in case it gets rejected, I'm archiving this here in the hopes that it may help to spur further debate.
I have found my self wondering of late whether or not the Moderation system of Slashdot (meaning, this site in particular, as opposed to the underlying implementation in Slashcode) would be more effective if a few changes were made.
For instance, it seems to me from my own experience, that readers are more likely to post in stories that cover a field in which the reader may have a particular expertise, yet the moderation system disallows those same posters from moderating any posts under the same topic. Would it not be more effective to allow moderation to all posts but one's own? Why isn't the moderation system open to all logged in users at all times? Why are we limited to five moderation points at a time? Why is the moderation scale limited to -1 through +5? Why are we limited to single point changes?
Personally, I have my preferences set to display +4 and above, and most of my own moderation tends to be downward, as I personally feel it is of more value to the community for me to down-mod those posts which I feel do not deserve a 4 or 5 rating. I take my moderation very seriously, and I do not mod on a whim. In fact, many times when I am awarded moderation points, I end up allowing them to expire because I do not feel any affinity for the topics currently being discussed, I do not possess enough expertise in the topics being discussed, or I want to particpate in a debate. Again, those discussions I join tend to be those in which I have particular interest or expertise, and I suspect that many posters here would tell similar tales.
I submit that changing the moderation system to -2 to +10 would result in a more accurate characterization of the relative quality level of the posts I see. I also think that we need a "-2, Incorrect" moderation type for posts that contain information that is just downright wrong, and perhaps a "+2, Definitive" moderation type for stellar examples. Perhaps other new moderation types would also help. Could we not open the moderation to all users at all times and do away with the five points at a time limitation by simply not allowing a particular user to moderate a particular post more than once?
I've read the FAQ section on moderation many times, and it still leaves me a bit disappointed. As a 5-digit UID Slashdotter (just a little way over 15 bits at #33785), I've seen Slashdot go through many different phases, and I'm wondering:
Where does the Slashdot community stand on these issues in 2005?