Now in beta, sam and james are experimenting with several fairly significant changes to thesixtyone's voting and scoring system.
Cosmetically, they have replaced bumps with "hearts", and the bump up-arrow with a heart. Songs you've bumped should show red on the play lists (grey if unbumped), but that feature seems laggy and not yet fully working. The newest tracks - under 24 hours old have their bump-count masked by a clock symbol. You can still bump, and find un-bumped tracks, but can't see the totals until the song has been around for a day.
Operationally, points are now "Reputation", and bumping a song no longer costs points under the new system.On the other hand you get a daily bump "allowance" that, if expended, means you can't bump anymore for the day. You can earn extra bumps (and reputation points) by listening to the Rack. The refresh clock for the daily allowance is not yet clear. In my experiment last night, I used up all of my bumps around 10 pm, but got a bunch of new bumps around 7:30 am today. I sent some feedback in (you can check out my "feedback diary" in the forum pages here: http://maxbumps.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=726 and sam and james said they were still working out the refresh and allowance rates for this new "opportunity costing" system.
Revives still cost points - but it looks like your Reputation will now never go down from other activities on the site.
I'm keeping an open mind on the site changes. I personally like the hidden bump numbers for the youngest tacks, but my jury is out on the bump allowance. My firs reaction was negative, but I'm going to give it at least good week before I decide on that. The one thing I really, know I don't like is "hearts" vs. bumps. For me, bumps identifies thesixtyone, and always will.
The beta option is not mandatory yet. It is selectable from your use preferences, but be warned that switching back and forth rapidly may result in quirky site behavior. Give it a try and share what you think!
UPDATE: Feb 11, 2009
I've been using the beta "heart" system exclusively for over a week now, and I am almost entirely in favor of it. For casual listeners, the standard daily allotment of bumps should be more than adequate for you to vote up the songs you feel passionate about. For power bumpers, the Rack randomly rewards you with reputation or extra hearts for bumping. The rate varies greatly, but seems to average between 8-15 hearts per hour of Rack time.
The daily heart allotment resets when you log in for the day, or if you've stayed logged in, when you hit one of the front pages for the first time in the new day - the allotment refresh replaces the daily login +20 points.
One of the big plusses of the new system is that the cost to early-bump something immensely *unpopular* that only I might like is exactly the same as the cost to late-bump the latest track from the most popular artists. This makes it easier to support more esoteric tastes, or slow moving Artists who haven't gotten off the ground for one reason or another.
One additional thing that has appeared over the week is a "Top listeners" feature on Artists' pages, which shows who their most rabid fans are by number of bumps.
So, I'm sticking with the new system. But I still want my older terminology back. Heart =/ a Verb. I want my Bumps!