Reputation: what it is and what it isn't
The reputation system on the boards allows members to "upvote" posts they like. This is a nice and spoon-friendly way of showing support, and helpful for people wanting to show support if they are a bit unwell to comfortably write a reply. The little upward-pointing chevrons at the bottom-right of each post are where you can do this (just to the left of the "Quote" option), and the number next to the chevron is the number of upvotes that post has received.
The reputation system also helps moderate the board, as until a member has a reputation of three, they will only be able to post once every thirty seconds (which we don't expect to greatly inconvenience human posters, but for bots that can post multiple times a second, it can cut down on forum spam that we need to clean up, if any manage to sneak in).
The boards also automatically tally to the total number of votes members have received - we recommend not paying attention to this - this will generally just be a reflection of someone having posted a lot, or been on the forums a long time. Members should absolutely, definitely not think that a difference in reputation score with another member means that they are more or less valuable than that other member - that's just not how it works