No. of Recommendations: 36
The intention behind rec-to-post ratios has always been to reward the best contributions to Fooldom. We stated this from the get-go, and also laid out a fair amount of our rationale right on this board and elsewhere, ahead of time. We don't find any significant number of people disagreeing that more meaningful rec-to-post ratios would be a good addition, rewarding the best contributors. In fact, once we up the minimum past 30-day postings to a more proper 15, I think you'll find this a worthy addition.

What many people clearly don't like is the limiting of the opportunity to hit the Rec button. Judging from early returns (first 12 hours), this is a mistake. We don't use 12 hours to judge anything, but we will closely follow community discussion and thought on this decision over the very short term. We have already let you know repeatedly that we're open to change as the community wishes (and to tell you the truth I wish a few more people would recognize this, and maybe cut Bogey some slack). If this is not deemed an improvement, we'll scotch it! As stated earlier, we already believe that the soft rec concept suggested by RJMason and others several days ago will solve most of these problems.

To review, here's the concept. Everyone gets as many recs as they like every day. The value of your first 20 recs (say) is 1.0, and for every additional rec you make beyond that on a given day, it revalues your recs proportionately (rec #21 makes them worth slightly less, and so forth). This superior (to my thinking) approach enables anyone to hit the rec button anytime (the biggest member complaint) and yet still keeps the focus on recs rewarding quality effort. However, you'd still get to see the number of times that people hit the rec button to show agreement with your post.

I appreciate the strength of feeling many are expressing here, because at the very least it shows how much you care. We care a tremendous amount as well, and if and when we make bad decisions, we will change them. We would hope that long-time Fools know us well enough to know that we'll work hard to improve our service, when we screw up (note I didn't say "if," since we're human) in our attempts to improve it for you.

We also hope you'll remember what Radish wrote, which is that virtually every change we make to online interface solicits charges of "New Coke," as has been the case for several years. If we had immediately acted on these comments in every case, Fool.com wouldn't have recs at all (since that was an addition), nor would our portfolio have tracked against the S&P 500, nor would we have a My Fool page, etc. etc. etc. No colors ever would have changed, etc.

So in the context of working together to improve the service, we commit to you our firm intent to fix things that are broken, including in some cases "unfixing" things if they weren't broken. But we also ask something in return, which is your patience and in some cases forebearance. Any truly bad change we make can be lifted or changed; please acknowledge this and fear not. At the same time, please give yourself a chance to take in the sights (site) for a few days, and then give us your reasoning.

David Gardner
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