Everybody hates MySpace. Everybody wonders how Digg became the popular site over its similar clones. What is the thread these sites share that make them so popular? I believe it’s user interaction.
And I don’t mean just the I can post stuff and read stuff kind of interaction. People can vote on Digg. People can obsess over getting lots of popular diggs. People can fuss over getting negative diggs. People obsess over their "friend" count on MySpace and how to get more. People look at the linkages between them.
Launching the Nerd Log was a half-step towards this. wyldeling commented once that he wanted to see more stats. Nerds tend to be like that. Nerds like seeing patterns in chaos. Nerds like interconnectivity.
So where am I going with this? We have a lot of the elements in place. User Pages. Nerd Rank. Scoring. Simple Statistics. But no system to tie them together. Now I’m not saying to degenerate into some sort of NerdFriends type system. But what if Tersh could be integrated into this site? Users could give "nerd props/boos" to various articles, posts and comments internally to OmniNerd. These would be separate from arbitrator scoring (which must be objective). Such an integration could provide the sort of things users like – an interactivity with a visual result.
Perhaps the "Props/Boos" could be used not to influence Nerd Rank. Rather, to establish a guru-ness. I’m pretty sure wyldeling would receive a ton of props for his physics insights. Over time, those props would establish him as a category leader which in effect makes him the guru of the physics category. There could be some challenges within the theology category and computing category. Various users would simply "emerge" as gurus in their respective fields.
I’ve been told by others they don’t comment because someone else has said exactly what they wanted to say – but far more eloquently. This mechanism would allow them to virtually "stand behind" an opinion. There are likely many people that read the site’s content that are not interested in saying anything … but could commend those that say what they would have liked to say themselves.
These days, the web is driven by users that feel they’re doing something. We can cater to those users that want to say "Yeah – what he said!", without having to lower any of our own bars. And the system that provides that ability also gives people a variety of little statistics to fuss over.
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