Many other review sites (like TripAdvisor), assign badges to contributors. You achieve a certain badge level based on how much you contribute to the community.
For example on TripAdvisor:
3-5 reviews = Reviewer
6-10 reviews = Senior Reviewer
11-20 reviews = Contributor
21-49 reviews = Senior Contributor
50+ reviews = Top Contributor
I think it would be useful to have this kind of badge system on MERB (likely with a different scale). It happens often enough that there are long time members that have hundreds of posts and "appear" to be senior contributors to MERB, but after looking closer, 80% of their posts are chit chat, pontificating, lecturing, blabla, flames, bitching, etc, that contribute little to no value...besides being entertaining to read. This makes it difficult to know who's opinion to really trust.
Badges would be earned by the number of review points earned. These would have to be real "reviews". Posts that just ask questions, posts in 411, posts in the Lounge or baseball/hockey/sports etc threads would not count. To get the review vetted and to earn a review point, the reviewer could submit the review to the moderator for validation. If valid, the reviewer accumulates 2 points for a review of a new SP, MP, and 1 point for an existing SP/MP. Based on the number of points, a badge is awarded.
This would add significant value to the MERB community by filtering out the true credible MERB reviewers from the MERB "participants". Thread search filters could be added to filter out the blabla and display only valid reviews. This would also help in researching threads that are many pages long filled with useless drivel and present the review info...this would likely reduce the number of redundant questions asked by lazy newbies who don't want to read an entire thread to find the actual review info. Unfortunately this would add some responsibility/work to the MODS.
I know that technically this is feasible, just not sure if vBulliten can support this. I would think that there must be some un-used field in our user profile record that could be used to accumulate points and assign a badge. In a post the must also be some un-used field that could tag it as a vetted review.
Here is a suggestion
3-5 reviews = Newbie
6-10 reviews = slut
11-20 reviews = Horn dog
21-49 reviews = sex addict
50+ reviews = Porn star
Just a thought...I obviously have too much time on my hands to be thinking about this :-)