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Author Topic: The problem with Easy to Use Social Rating Sites  (Read 2933 times)


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The problem with Easy to Use Social Rating Sites
« on: September 06, 2006, 01:59:40 PM »
As most of you know right now I have real issues with the crowd-intelligence social sites like digg.. I always enjoy essays like this one about the issues involved and potential solutions:
I’ve had a bit of a train of thought going on in my head for the past few days about the main “social” web services I use and how they make me angry. 
Several popular and long-running sites including BoingBoing, Fark and Slashdot do this but they are moderated - a small number of people running the site control what gets seen.  Reddit is one of the wave of sites devolving most if not all of this control to users.  The current undisputed king in this field is Digg (I think I’ll deal with Digg another day) but Reddit has its own strengths.  What’s that saying about happy families and unhappy families?  It seems that these link aggregating sites that succeed have their own sort of success but when they fail, they all fail the same way.
The success of these sites is twofold.  First, there is far too much out there in the world for one person to discover so it’s nice to get a helping hand occasionally.  As a web user/reader it’s helpful to see what other people find interesting.  Personally, I find 98% of the web to be crap so any help getting to the good stuff is appreciated.  Second, content creators like these sites because they can deliver a massive number of eyeballs to the content creator’s site.  Of course you have to be doing something of value for these sites to be of any help but there are a lot of very interesting sites with high quality content that wouldn’t get noticed without help.
I think it’s impossible to predict what will be popular on these sites.  I find a lot of their big hits boring and I submit many things that get ignored.  I’ve had submissions (not my own stuff) to both Reddit and Digg promoted to their front pages but I can’t for the life of me say why some stuff hits it big while others disappear. 
Reddit’s failure is that as it gets more and more users submitting more and more content you’re overwhelmed with more crap.  Boring crap, self-serving crap and outright spam. 
any medium that does not control access will inevitably collapse under the weight of its own success.
 If you make everything easy for everybody then you’re making things easy for dickheads.  If you place reasonable hurdles for certain things you won’t slow down committed users at all (the ones who make a group succeed) but you might slow down dickheads (the ones who make groups fail).

mycaps Screenshot - 001 , 01_56_PM , Sep 06 2006_thumb.png

See also: http://shirky.com/wr...ngs/group_enemy.html

from http://mikeomatic.net/?p=69