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We still get whining both on here and on SO when someone notices their rep changes due to a rep recalc.

I suggest to forestall this, (especially for those that don't know the ins and outs of SO) a message is displayed the next time they come on after a recalc:

Your splines have been reticulated: In order to maintain database tranquility your reputation has been recalculated.

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Ooh, or maybe only show it to users with a 'significant' reputation (ie, very participatory, would probably notice anyway, and the recalc might be significant) it could be attached to one of the levels (2k? 3k?) like any other moderator feature... –  Adam Davis Dec 17 '09 at 17:12
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Do you ... talk to yourself often? –  John Rudy Dec 17 '09 at 17:17
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Not my splines! –  Phoshi Dec 17 '09 at 17:30
    
@Phoshi - No, not your splines. You happen to be splineless. –  Adam Davis Mar 10 '10 at 15:25
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Maybe the message should say "You just lost xx points thanks to us" if they lost points or "You get xx points for no reason" if they gain points? Why emphasize the obvious? –  uɐɯsO uɐɥʇɐN Mar 17 '10 at 4:19
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@[George Edison] Huh, why is this obvious? I had no idea what the heck happened to my rep. SO already inundates me with notifications at the top of the page such as "you earned a badge" without linking to the question, and "you got message" where the link shows a blank list (both therefore rather useless), but explaining what caused 25% of my rep to disappear doesn't deserve a word?... WTF! –  romkyns Mar 22 '10 at 22:10

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted
+550

Overall I like the idea, but I think the right answer is to only show it when the rep change crosses a certain threshold where the user is likely to notice -- perhaps 50, or 100 rep in either direction? That way I think you limit the extra whining the message might induce per your answer to your own question.

(Like a rep recalc ever results in rep going up!)

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I expect mine to go up, since I didn't have any SO posts moved to meta when it was created and I've deleted a few posts that got excessive negative votes. –  Ether Dec 17 '09 at 20:55
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Instead of a certain value of reputation, perhaps a percentage of total reputation might be a better threshold to use. –  adrianbanks Dec 17 '09 at 23:21
    
Wow, major ding! (and welcome to the 10k club!) –  Ether Mar 17 '10 at 14:58
    
@Polly, @Ether, thanks! –  John Rudy Mar 18 '10 at 1:01

The only downside I see is that perhaps there are hundreds of rep-recalcs a month where people don't even notice, and if they did see the message they might whine about it, increasing the overall whining, rather than decreasing it.

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Doesn't matter what happens, the whining is a constant. So, on with the recalcs! –  random Mar 17 '10 at 3:42
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@random and @Pollyanna why do you refer to people asking about lost rep as whining. Where did my rep go, is an honest question. I participate in this community to learn and help others learn, but the rep does motivate me to come back because it gives me something to show for. If I lose confidence in the system because it randomly (probably not, but it looks like that to me) removes reputation that might discourage me from keeping to come back. The least that could be done is a notification. –  Klaus Byskov Pedersen Nov 19 '10 at 16:09
    
Past examples show those with the biggest voice ended up being those with the lower quality posts. Those are type-whiners. @kla –  random Nov 19 '10 at 20:51

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