What is the meaning of "Rating"

I am confused about the meaning of "rating".

Is it how good the post is?

I did a search on "Rating" and got a lot of hits, but none seems to answer my question, either that or I missed it.

It would be nice to have some basic documentation on questions like these.

I don't mean to be difficult and maybe I don't understand, but what is the reason for having a rating?

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Here's my understanding of the feature:

For each DC member who clicks the green "thumb up" at the foot of your post, its rating increases by 1. And for each DC member who clicks the red "thumb down", the post's rating decreases by 1.

I'm going to click the "thumb up" on your question because I think it's a good one. So you should see its rating increase from 0 to 1.

Hi, Mike!

It's a good question, so I vote for your question too.

Here is the short explanation.

I guess everyone in DC would love to see qualitative articles, questions, and answers.

Voting is the way for us to introduce mechanism on DC which would encourage the creation of qualitative content and discourage the low-quality staff. And "Rating" is the sum of votes.

It's also the way for an OP to know how many people said "Thank you for your post and hard work" for his article. We can see articles with more than 10 "thank you for your post" signs.

It's the way to "Agree" and "I like it" for the answers and comments.

Also, sometimes Votes is the way to say "I disagree" and "I don't like it" and yes, it can be confusing to distinguish when you "disagree" or "dislike".

It's not an ideal mechanism, maybe we would introduce something better, need your advice here.