The concept of reputation in the world of forum first started with member ranks which was based on number of points earned by them . They were given member title, badges or awards based on these reputation points .
We thought that this reputation system should also be applicable to the content posted by the users . Although the system of vote up / vote down exists this does not completely describe the reputation of a post .
We have unified all kind of actions that are applicable to posts like sharing a post, marking it as spam, reporting it to moderators, etc into a single reputation system .
This will enable us to rank the content based on its reputation . Every post made by the user will have a reputation count similar to vote up/ vote down . But this count will be affected by all kind if actions done to the post .
So, if suppose there is a like/unlike plugin implemented , then whenever someone likes the post the reputation will increase by x number of points which can be defined by the forum administrator or the plugin creator .
The actions like report as spam, will decrease the reputation of the post .
Thus all actions done to a post are linked to its reputation .
This reputation will be very useful during searching . We will be able to sort the results based on the content reputation .
It can also be used by template designers to change the look of the post depending on the reputation.
For eg. a post with reputation 10 or more will have a class .rep_10 . So the template designers can apply a different color for this post .
Similarly they can hide or decrease visibility of a post that has low reputation .
The reputation of the post can also be linked with the reputation of the users that created the post . This can help establish trust level of the users using the forum . With this reputation system, the forum can always deliver the best content to the users .