I'm at level 2, so i get 10 votes every day. Since most of the time I have to myself is on a train between work and home, disconnected from the Internet, I don't get to use them very often. I was very happy to find E2 because I started looking for a site where members could mark each other's work to show its quality, having intuited the great benefits of such a system. Anyway, I've put a lot of thought into how to use my votes.

Before I got votes, I decided not to use them on daylogs. It was a convenient place to use them all up and get voting XP, but these writeups get plenty of scrutiny as it is. I think I may have done it once just so I could see what kind of reps they get. So when I got my votes, my first strategy was to evaluate the new writeups. Meanwhile, I made some nodes, and one evening I got several helpful comments from other noders.

So I kept the comments, intending to view 10 writeups from each noder and vote them. I recognized from my own nodes' reputations that nodes just don't get many votes (for or against) unless they're C!'d or they're daylogs, and I wanted to help remedy that. So tonight (it's actually still May 3rd for me), I started in on one user's nodes. I found myself downvoting a little more than upvoting, and I felt bad for this noder who had helped me out. So I altered my strategy.

I remembered that I wanted to find out where reputation could be used by a reader to guide him to the best writeups. I had a theory that Findings (results of using the E2 Search box) might be listed in order of rep, so I tried a search and voted on the first three hits. This provided clear evidence that they are not sorted by rep. Then I remembered that you can order another noders work by reputation without having to vote on it first. That lead me to another voting strategy which I think is kinda cool:

I sorted mr100percent's nodes from lowest rep to highest (he had commented on one of my writeups), planning to see if the stuff with the lowest rep was really all that bad. Alas, I had run out of votes by this time. But here's the really cool part: Think about how a noder relates to those of his writeups with the lowest rep. Others are basically saying it's crap, but the noder hasn't requested that it be deleted. On one hand, maybe the noder doesn't care all that much about the quality of this database. I think it's more likely, especially for long time noders, that the noder feels a little more strongly about those nodes. So what kind of nodes would they be? I figure maybe they're controversial or have personal meaning or something like that. I expect it will be interesting stuff.

Looking through the lowest rep writeups of a noder who has done a series of writeups that got bad reps also shows the gradual improvements. For example, mr100percent has done what I think are pretty decent writeups on some merit badges, and as their rep increases (by how much I have no idea), you can see that he sourced his material, and then he added links to it.

It would be neat if there were one more quality metric at our disposal: ranking. I imagine it would work something like this: A reader gets a list of nodes and from it, picks those he or she plans to read. When they've been read, the reader sorts them, best to worst. This would create sets of related titles, and it would provide a slightly different kind of quality measurement. Instead of measuring a writeup's quality against your own internal standards, you measure it against other writeups. Mixing the current voting mechanism with a ranking system would implement a kind of Condorcet with Approval Voting system, which is, IMHO the nearly best system for cooperative decision making.