The new User Reputation star/sheriff badge below each post and resulting green dots...
These things are often abused, and may have the effect of turning people off.
For one, it sure looks like I can click my own posts. And with over 4,000 posts, I'd be busy and have a stellar reputation. I shouldn't get to click on my own posts.
Next, when new people join, they are blank slates. They don't have any thanks, they don't have any reputation, and it makes them feel left out. Worse still are badges that were only available like 5 years ago, that new people would never have a chance at earning. It's all fun when you're part of an original group, but coming in late means you'll never earn those badges.
I like to thank new folks for posting pictures when they join. To get the ball rolling, as it does take effort to post pics and opens up conversations on the vehicle image. But not everyone posts a lot, and that means they may be left out of "thanks" and now "reputation".
Back on the Honda Fit board, we had the reputation type thing, and were also allowed to make a negative vote. You know what happened. People could and would gang up on a negative post, resulting in a line of red dots going under the screen name. AND, for people who wanted to cheat the system, there was a thread for getting more green dots. Supposed to go through and reward the people in the thread. Just for posting in the thread.
It was all fun and funny, at first. But then the dots, one way or another, they didn't mean anything at that point. And may have scared off new people from the multi-red dot people or placed too much importance on the green dot people.
With the "Thanks", it's up to us to decide what rates a "Thanks". I'm pretty generous, I like to see pics, so I'll often thank for those. I like links, information, so I'll often thank for those. Sometimes it's a conversation going on, where the "thanks" is more like nodding my head in agreement with the rest of what others are saying, and it's a big thank-fest, as everyone else is doing the same thing. Thanking everyone else.
The reputation thing is almost a duplicate of thanks, in my opinion, except I can't thank myself for my own post. As the badge shows up under my own posts, it sure looks like I can add to my own reputation.
The only way I see the reputation thing as having value would be to have it only for the moderators. The moderators can decide if it's useful or not, and they're the ones reading all the posts.
I was startled to see a bunch of notifications, thought maybe someone was spamming me, but are the notifications are part of the email limit, which is/was fairly low for new folks? One great post and they'd be bombarded with notifications, and might not know to delete those things for the ability to use the private messaging.
And, last, but not least, I felt uncomfortable seeing I had one more green dot than the actual administrator of the site. Never mind that some of the green dots came from Chris probably testing out the new feature, but it just doesn't seem right.
Someone will always feel left out, someone will always be new and therefore be behind in reputation dots, and it's never fun to be left out or be behind. I would kind of like this new feature to go back where it came from. haha So nobody has any green dots, and nobody feels left out.