Turkey legs, they're a delicious, sobering, slab of meat on a stick, and they're now our karma currency. Before today, turkey legs were simply a cumulative total of a users activity on the site. You got one when you left a comment, 10 if you wrote a blog post, 5 if you started a forum topic. They didn't do anything. Now they do.
You still earn them by commenting, starting new forum topics, and writing blog posts. Now other users can award them by voting up your comments. The +1 system on comments had always been in place, but the two never worked together. Now they do. If someone posts a funny picture, witty reply, good statistic, something you like etc..., then give them a turkey leg. Conversely, if someone flames or wages a personal attack, then down vote. Do not down vote for disagreeing with someone's opinion. In general, vote up way more often than you vote down. Of the almost 20,000 comments on the site, I've read them all, there might be 10 I'd personally down vote, and those weren't from regular, active users.
If one function of this new system is rewarding thoughtful intelligent discussion, the other is allowing the community to moderate itself. We are growing, in November we averaged 10,000 views a day.
I noticed there was an increase of people who would register an account, leave their displeasure over a game, play, or player, then disappear. It was reactive, and it didn't add much to the discussion. Eventually, a user's turkey legs (karma) will dictate what they can do on the site. Right now it remains that any registered user can vote, write blog posts, leave comments, and start forum topics. However, I can customize the system to, for example only allow users with >=20 turkey legs to start a forum topic. Or, users with >= -25 turkey legs can comment. That functionality is in place, but hasn't been activated. I want to see how every takes to the new voting first.
If it all seems very reddit-y to you, it's because it is. I want to thank the guys at 11W (http://www.elevenwarriors.com/) for providing the custom module that tied the voting and turkey legs together (they run the same CMS as we do).
I think the community here is great, and wanted to thank everyone (if you have even a single turkey leg, that means you) for making a bad season on the field a little more bearable.
Real quick, if you know someone who likes to talk knowledgeably about Tech sports, tell them about the site and help them register. If you read an article or blog post that you think warrants discussion post it in the forums. And don't feel like it has to be about Tech football. I think most of us keep tabs on everything happening in college football (and maybe basketball).
What do you guys think? Any suggestions?