I just sent you a pm about it. In a nutshell...if you help people in the forum and write knowledgeable, accurate or interesting posts you tend to get 'applauds'. If you write annoying or poorly thought out posts you get smites. It's used as a way of gauging 'popularity' in a way. The more people you help the more likely they will click an 'applaud' button for you. The same goes for the flipside. On every post you can see the 'Applaud' and 'Smite' buttons for the member that posted it. On particularly helpful...or particularly useless posts some people click them to register their impressions of the member. Obviously the more Applauds you get the better. There's not much more to it than that. It doesn't really have any affect on your membership. It's just a way of making the forum more interesting and seeing who the more popular...and unpopular members are. So start answering some member's questions and get some 'applauds' on the board!