When you award them in bursts, the cumulative score of those bursts becomes less (!) than when a single medal awarded in a longer period.
The weighting is interesting. I can see that one's "Awesome" status could change even if the number of Appreciates per posts remains stable. That was the ratio I had assumed underlay the calculation. Thus, I've been trying to make individual posts as helpful as possible, and to avoid being "chatty".
My only quibble with the quoted part of your algorithm is that if an OP posts a question, and gets several
useful answers, all of which are genuinely appreciated, then, if the OP registers that appreciation in a single session (most likely how they will be read), it will depreciate the appreciation value. Is this desired?
Have there been any ill effects from overuse of appreciations? The only instance I can think of that might qualify is when someone only appreciates praise, such as "That's great!", and passes over appreciating more truly helpful answers. While this is probably just meant as a nice way of saying "thank you" for a compliment, it could also lead to the generation of insincere praise posting.
I've gotten a couple Appreciations for getting off a good one-liner or joke. (Thank you ra4king!) Is that a desired outcome? More humor is a good thing, generally.
Maybe a "Useful Post" medal would should be considered? I try to use the "Appreciation" as a Usefulness indicator, to highlight something others might also value reading. But that wouldn't necessarily lead to a "Most Awesome" ranking, but rather a "Most Helpful" ranking, (which is what I aspire to--to help and be helped.)
Hard to go very far with this without some sort of semantic evaluation of the posts themselves which in turn implies shared social values and, if abused, big brother.