I'm relatively new here, and haven't had voting privileges for too long, but here's what I do:
What I usually do is log on sometime in the mid-morning and read all the new nodes I'm interested in. I give out ++ for helpfulness, cleverness, clarity, humor, and things that make me go "Wow". I like to give out ++ votes. I try to spend all my votes at once. I don't save any for later in the day, because I usually only read Perl Monks once a day for an hour or so. (I used to spend more time, but then I found myself not getting any work done :-)
I hate to give out -- votes. I would rather give out ++ votes.
But I will downvote a node if I feel it's misleading, belittling, or a question that could easily be answered by RTFM. I think I might have given out one or two downvotes, ever. It's rare.
BTW, ++vladb. This is an interesting discussion. Thanks for bringing it up!
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