@glxpass, thanks for your suggestions.
We discussed about starting comments/posts with a 0 rating instead of a +1 rating. We wanted to allow the poster to give himself a +1 vote without requiring extra effort of voting for his own comment.
About comments in blog posts, all comments are displayed in order of submission, but these are in the comments page. This comments page is accessible when you click on the "comments" link at the top of the blog post or with the "view all comments" link at the bottom of the blog post. This comments page is more like a typical blog page with the newest comments on the bottom. The blog post page just has the top rated comments (the featured comments).
The idea of having the featured comments on the blog page was that this would allow the useful comments to be more readable for the average reader. When a blog post has 50+ comments, it can be difficult to find the useful comments. Unfortunately, we haven't had many posts lately with that many comments.
Ken, thanks for your reply. I don't wish to bug you about this -- well, perhaps I do, just a little bit <g> -- but I'd like you to reconsider your automatic +1 voting rationale. You state that automatically making the vote +1 saves the trouble of the poster voting for themselves. The point is that IMO a poster should *never* be able to vote for hiimself/herself. There are plenty of posts whose content might not warrant getting removed from your blog or the forum, yet whose contents might not be deemed useful by anyone other than the poster.
When I see +1 votes for a post, I think to myself that someone else found the post helpful or useful, and it draws attention to the post. +0 votes clearly says that no one else (perhaps not even the poster!) thought the post had some positive qualities. For example, if this post earned +0 votes, that would indicate no one agrees with me strongly enough to make my suggestion worthwhile.
Just as you noticed that some users were voting down other posts to elevate their reputation, you might find people posting for the sake of posting in order to increase their reputation points. Repectfully, please re-think your decision, even if it means a little extra programming effort.
As to displaying only featured comments on the blog page, perhaps a compromise could be made. When one clicks on "Cllick to Continue Reading...", then only the featured comments would display. When one clicks on the blog entry title, however, then everything displays for the blog entry, including all the comments in default date-time ascending sequence. (Alterntively, the default sequence could be a parameter in the user options of logged-on users.
I feel much more strongly about the voting situation than the comment situation. Regardless of what you decide, thanks again for listening.