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  1. #1
    Brian Livingston
    Any Lounge member who is signed in can click a button at the bottom of any post and give it one thumbs-up point. The total number of points the post has received from all members is displayed on the right side of the button {in curly braces}, as shown in the image below. (The score is visible whether you're signed in or not.)

    The following screen shot shows how the button looks before and after you click it:


    The upper half of the image shows the button before you've voted for a post. Initially, the button text reads Give 1 thumbs-up point and shows the number of points a post has already received (in this case, zero). If you hover your mouse over the button, a tooltip explains Vote for this post.

    The lower half shows the button after you've clicked it. The text changes to read Thumbs-up points, and the count immediately updates to reflect your vote. The tooltip now says Number of votes for this post, rather than Vote for this post (because you've already voted).

    There are just a few little rules to remember about voting on Lounge posts:

    • You can vote only if you're signed in. (If you're not yet a member, registration is free.)
    • You can vote on a post only once.
    • We don't allow negative points or taking back votes.
    • You can't vote on your own posts.

    The image below shows how Lounge members' thumbs-up scores appear on their profile page:


    The score represents each Lounger's total points for posts submitted in the past 99 days. (If you're signed in to the Lounge, you can see a member's profile page by clicking the member's name in any post.)

    Every few weeks, Lounge administrators and moderators carefully read the last three months' posts by members who've received more than a couple of thumbs-up votes. Loungers who've made the best contributions to the knowledge of all Windows users will be promoted to the status of VIP (Very Informed Person). VIP badgeholders can participate in private discussion forums and communicate directly with the leaders of the Lounge.

    A future step in our development of the Lounge will be to let you quickly find posts with lots of thumbs-up points. For example, a few months from now you might be able to sort a forum, bringing to the top those threads containing high-scoring posts. Or you could use our search engine to find posts with more than N points.

    Like the voting buttons, profile-page point totals come with their own caveats:

    • We have no plans to create a "Top 10" list or any publicly visible list of Loungers who have the most points. Every Lounger whose posts have more than a few votes will be considered for promotion to VIP status.
    • VIP status is always voluntary. No members will ever be promoted against their wishes.
    • As in other discussion boards, it's considered bad form in the Lounge to ask other members to vote for your posts. The point system is a way to help all Loungers find useful posts; it's not a contest with bragging rights.
    • The officers of the Lounge can see who voted for whom, so cheaters won't get far trying to organize reciprocal voting circles, fake accounts, or anything like that. Let's keep it fun, simple, and — most important — useful, OK?

    I would never claim that a thumbs-up button is revolutionary. For years, thousands of other Web sites and discussion forums have had their own thumbs-up buttons, Yes/No clickers, and the like.

    Now we have our own system, and I think our new feature will eventually make the Lounge an even more useful place to share Windows expertise than it is today.

    For more information, see the announcement of the thumbs-up system in the Windows Secrets Newsletter at (after June 16).
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