You can now see a sum of all the likes in any given thread when you mouse over it to get an idea how popular they are. Also, liking posts has a small but visible effect on the whole thread.
A few weeks ago @McC
asked on Discord, if there is a way to sort or bump threads based on likes; not necessarily to turn things into a popularity contest like Reddit or other social media, but to show appreciation to people's hard work and have that appreciation have a visible effect on their threads. I can see the appeal, but I've been very consciously avoiding any kind of visible popularity metrics or anything resembling a recommendation algorithm, because that whole mechanism is a big part of what's wrong with the internet these days, and I'd like to try and do better on my middling scifi forum. The internet ruled when it was millions of sites that you had to find yourself instead of a few hundred recommendations regurgitated to you by a couple of awful tech giants, but that's a different discussion.
Anyway, I do appreciate the desire to support people's threads, so I came up with something of a compromise. The basic philosophy will not change. The forum will serve up threads in chronological order based on the latest reply just like it always has, instead of trying to guess what's popular or would suit your specific tastes*. I've added a little more impact to the likes though. Now, in addition to increasing people's reputation (that's the points next to your username, which get you levels every now and then) the total number of likes gets listed on the forum index as a sort of a thread score
. Bigger numbers mean more likes in general, so that probably means nice work or good discussion. I didn't want to make them too prominent to keep this from turning into too big of a popularity contest, so you'll need to mouse over a thread on the index to see its score.
*) You can always search for specific tags if you absolutely want to only see something specific.
In other, smaller updates, I added a little skull on the necroposting tag to make it more menacing. Please, don't dig up really old threads for abandoned projects and bump them. Returning to your old stuff is always appreciated, but bugging people, many of whom may have not been around in years, for updates is not cool. If you want to appreciate someone's work but not disrupt the flow of the forum, might I recommend the Like