Like any activity, if there is some analysis done, a method to the madness can be found. What I mean is that if you aren't going to write an amazing node, that will be cooled and voted up by all regardless, there are most probably some ways to ensure that you get some votes (assuming the write is worth some).

Of course, I have no idea for sure what those ways are... but I can tell you my insight on what they might be.

I think that a lot of people vote like they do when they judge figure skaters. The first skaters never get perfect marks, even if they do triple axle backflips with a twist... in tandem. The reason the judges hold back is that if someone does something a little better, they need some room to play. I think a lot of people on Everything vote in much the same way. Since you only get a finite number of votes each day, you aren't going to use them all up right away. The same goes for cooling. Me, on the other hand, I use all my votes up within the first 30 minutes of getting to work each day, and I use most of those votes on random nodes. So if you want a vote from me, then you need to write your node between 0800-0830h Mountain Time. If I come across a really good node that I think is worthy of my vote, I'll usually bookmark it and vote it up the next day.

Cools, on the other hand, I use whenever I think a node deserves it. And if I don't find anything worth cooling, then I let my cools disappear and try again the next day.

Another factor worth considering when looking to get votes is the number of fellow noders. If there are only 10 others logged on, chances are you aren't gonna get too much in the way of votes. But it's a double edged sword for if your node sucks, and there are lots of people around, there is more chance for downvotes. Oh, the stress...

So, I think that if you really want to get votes and cools, you need to find that delicate balance between the number of users logged in, the time of the day relative to when the votes are dispersed each day, and the time when no one has any votes or cools left.

Of course, you could just write a fantastic, high quality node in the first place... and then take whatever comes your way. That's what I'd do...

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