NS is the most up-to-date and in touch community out there. That is just a fact. There is no other sport/hobby/lifestyle/whatever you want to call it where so many people know so many things and are in one place.
This is exactly my problem with the pinboard. I'm too up to date for it to work for me. I'm in the latest pictures, forums, news, and some videos every day. When I look at the hot page, I rarely see something new. When I vote something up, I'm usually one of the first few people to do it. The pinboard relies on myself and the other early adapters to fuction. For a News article, the Killington rail jam only needed 9 votes to make it to the top page. Pictures and videos require much more but considering they have always been subject to rating doesn't surprise me why they get a lot more votes compounded with the fact they get shitloads more views as well.
Gangnam Style has 770 million views on Youtube. At 1 million views, the in touch and up to date people collectively told the world it was cool. If you watched Gangnam style after it's millionth view, you already knew it was cool before you watched it. The same holds true for NS. If something has enough upvotes to make it on the front page, you've been told it's cool.
The pinboard exists for NS to tell people what's cool when people like me are the ones that told NS it was cool in the first place. So if I look at the pinboard, I see NS telling me what I already told them was cool. What the fuck does that accomplish? Why should I rate items so other people know it's cool? I know what's cool, I'm an early +er, it was my vote combined with a few others that saw the item at it's introduction which rocketed it to hot page glory.
The 99th + vote for an item didn't make it cool. The Kill Your Boredom article currently has 55+ votes. As The Killington rail jam only has 9, I can assume that 30 of those + votes didn't do anything to the hot factor. Over half the votes on that article are useless.
So my conclusion is the hot page is good for people who don't come on NS much but want to get caught up to speed really fast relying on people like me to shift through all the junk for them. Why should myself and the other early voting if we don't reap the rewards?
Also, turn up the sensitivity on threads making the hot page. Threads really are NS's bread and butter. For example, I made a thread about who is going to blow up in the going year. Three days later, it's 4 pages long and includes a long list of deserving kids. That isn't something a news article could accomplish and it would take thousands of pictures and hundreds of videos to do. If the hotpage is designed to show the less informed what's going on, show them that.