Lately I have been awarded a lot of mod points here on Slashdot. I try to be as serious as I can while modding, but when you actually try to be serious moderation becomes a hard task.
Why does it become hard? In my opinion it's because of the sheer number of alternatives you have when valuing a post. You can deem a posting "Funny", "Insightful", "Informative", "Interesting", "Underrated", "Troll", "Flamebait", etc.
While this in some ways can be viewed upon as a strength, it sure is harder than saying "Yeah, this is a good post" or "No, this was bad".
Here's what CmdrTaco has to say about this: Bad words will reduce the comment's score by a single point, and good words increase a comment's score by a single point.
The problem is that different people will have different opinions of what's good and what's bad. In my opinion, comments moderated as Funny seldom are funny.
When a comment is posted it starts it life with a score of 1. Maybe a couple of guys comes along and mods the comment Funny. Someone else finds it Interesting, and the score total becomes 4, Interesting. But since I'm a cranky guy, and seldom finds Slashdot comments funny, the score in my eyes are (at best) 2, Interesting.
I know no one will ever listen to me, but my dream version of the Slashdot Moderation System would be to remove Funny completely, and dumb down the rest of the alternatives to two:
Insightful (+) or Overrated (-)
It may be foolish to hope for more serious debate and insightful commenting (and maybe that would kill Slashdot altogether), but in my opinion a streamlined moderation system would help to achieve this.