I think there's gonna be a lot of 1's and 5's with very little 2-4's.
Another thing I've seen that might work good is just a thumbs up or thumbs down. A post starts at a "0" and then each thumbs up gives it a +1 and each thumbs down gives is -1. You can tell how much people like a post by how far positive or negetive it goes.
I don't think you should scrap the idea but I don't think a 1-5 rating system yields the best results.
but there were no bugs affecting Larni's rating and he did actually have a 10.0 rating. As you surmised, it was due to his first message in the It's a boy. thread back at the end of April. Votes have a 3 month horizon, so his rating has since declined.
I still don't like the equation. And not because of the length of the 10.0 rating.
It's that if I see a fairly aged message that I'd like to Cheer, and it doesn't have any Cheers yet, and the member's rating is above 1.0, then giving them that Cheer will actually lower their rating. 'Cause that would be one more rating to divide by and it'd only be providing one point.
If a person has no history, and one post get zero cheers, then another post gets two cheers, and then their third posts gets two cheers, their rating would be (2+2)/2 = 2.0
If I then go and cheer their first post, then their rating become (2+2+1)/3 = 1.7
I don't want to lower their rating, so that's a disincentive for me to use the system. That's not good functionality.
I'm sorry I don't have any constructive criticism at the time, but the equation does need to be improved if you want desired functionality.
That's still part of your ultimate goal, right?
You really do have the best forum software I've ever used on the net (that's a big reason that I've stayed here - you spoiled me). I'm assuming you may still be considering marketing it?