HackerNews has been my best source of interesting links for more than some time.
Voting for posts in the frontpage is valuable as it helps them rise higher and stay there longer. But what really makes a difference IMHO, is the votes that submissions in the "new" section get. A small number of votes will probably help a new submission make it to the popular front page, where, due to the big number of viewers a really interesting post will get the attention it deserves.
It's my understanding (at least, that's what I did) that most of us will often check the the frontpage, but rarelly visit the new section.
So, I decided to make https://news.ycombinator.com/newest whow when I open new tabs in my browser : it loads fast, and gives me the chance to give points to new submissions that deserve them much more often than I did.
Warning: This is one hell of a way to get constantly distracted from what you are doing. I would advice turning on "noprocrast" in your profile :-)
In my profile, what is noprocrast?
It's a way to help you prevent yourself from spending too much time on News.YC. If you turn it on you'll only be allowed to visit the site for maxvisit minutes at a time, with gaps of minaway minutes in between. The defaults are 20 and 180, which would let you view the site for 20 minutes at a time, and then not allow you back in for 3 hours. You can override noprocrast if you want, in which case your visit clock starts over at zero. -- Hacker News FAQ
 Note: If you are using Google Chrome, there is no way to make new tabs open a specific URL, other than installing an extension. I found New Tab Redirect to work just fine.