Next month will be the fourth anniversary of the weekend in 2008 when I sat out on my patio with my laptop and began banging out what was officially launched as Talk of the Sound on September 1, 2008.
At each approaching anniversary, I like to take stock as to where the site has been and where it is going. Reader engagement is always an important part of that reflection.
Adding an up/down voting module to the site is a sort of "next step" in the evolution of reader engagement on the site where you, the reader, can vote on the quality of a particular article or comment. The criteria is intended to be the value of the contribution to the site -- the clarity of the writing, the quality of a particular insight, the tone. Articles and comments that are useful, well-written and informative get voted up, articles and comments that are self-indulgent, rambling rants get voted down. You, the reader, are recommending what you believe other readers will find interesting and worthwhile and helping them avoid drivel and dreck.