The other thing I like is that even if you're a nobody like me, folks will read
your stuff if it's good. The people that read your ideas might get some benefit
from your experience or point of view.
Well said, Mike.
The abilities of readers to vote on Reddit is definitely one of its strongest point. Instead of having an editor choosing your reading material, you yourself decide what is worth reading and what is not by giving a good article a vote-up and a bad one, a vote down. Not only that, by giving an article a vote you are actually telling others the quality of it. The more votes an article receives, the higher its ranking is. This is how thrashes get clean away and how gems get rewarded.
Not only that, one can express his opinions regarding the article at the comment section. If one finds that it contains factual errors, or the arguments are less than persuasive, or whatever, he is free to lay out his rebuttal. OK, this may not mean a lot to you, those who live in free countries; after all, free speech is freely available as oxygen, right? But for those who come from third world countries where all the media is controlled by a single party and that single party has a lot of things to cover up...I believe that you will appreciate my point here.
In this light I think it is fairer not to penalize a fresh article too quickly. Before it slips into oblivion, that article should get a few vote downs first and no vote ups. Using this system will reduce the likehood of voting down good article and at the same time, being able to keep spammers from spamming the site. With thousands of active readers, it shouldn't take long to get a few down votes to stop the spams.