Tag Archives: pligg

How Idea Marketplaces work

Ideas are hard to define, and more to buy and sell, so an Idea Marketplace is a tough challenge.
The globalized world is extremely open to idea flow, to dismay of a few dictatorial governments. But flow is not necessarily trade, and quantity does not imply quality. A good idea marketplace should have a way to tell the golden ideas from the sand, and deliver them to those who can appreciate them and turn them into profit.

A well-deviced but unsuccessful approach to the Idea Market

Around 2000 there was Ideaexchange.com, where ideas could be bought and sold. The ideas had a short public description, and a longer hidden explanation. If you paid the price, you would access the whole thing. Idea authors charged for their complete ideas and the website collected a percentage.  Buyers could call for an idea on a certain topic and also comment on the ideas they bought for others to join or beware.

To my deception the website did not last. I do not know why, because in my opinion it was a hell of an idea. Possible failure explanations: Ideaexchange.com did not have a mechanism to convert ideas into projects. The fact that idea posters had to pay a small fee beforehand probably prevented them to reach critical mass. Also, the ideas were too wide (proposals together with jokes, gossip and varied information).

The word “idea” has many meanings, and the marketplaces should limit itselves to measurable ideas, and to ideas that can have any useful follow-up or consequence.

Idea Futures

There is also the concept of Idea Futures, which implies prediction power about the truth of an idea. A nice website called Ideosphere tries to predict events using the reputation of the predictors. Those who earn points predicting accurately are more credible at predicting new issues. The site covers future facts or hidden facts, like science issues.

So, this site deals about Future and Hidden Facts, not just “ideas”. Predictions often deal with the stock market or sports results, and those activities are heavily regulated, which limits this peculiar subset of the idea marketplaces.

Got an idea? We will invest on it!

There are several inventor-investor matching sites, where business ideas can develop into projects. However, most of them are inefficient, with worthless ideas and false investors. Worthless ideas rank from perpetual movement to cold fusion in the kitchen, with better mousetraps in the middle. False investors include those who require a “fee” to analyze the idea and then disappear, and those who are willing to invest up to 10 dollars in your idea, plus those who demand the inventor to fill a 100 page form before anything, with no assurance that even the title will be read.

I have seen them all and I recognize that good matching requires many right properties on each part: financial, geographical, language, age. Also, like in romantic matching, there are many hard-to-define human qualities.

Regulating the entry of both parts (good inventors – real investors) would be an assurance of quality for these idea marketplaces, but that requires time and money. It is hard to find someone able to predict which idea will fly and which will not take off. Who could that be? An academic? A successful businessman? A psychic? Probably none of them. Most likely, a committee with the three of them.

The Web 2.0 is about filtering trash

The Web 1.0 had many data covering the valuable information. Search engines still post: “Results 1 – 100 of about 7,190,000 pages”. 95% of all email is spam.

The news aggregator systems like Digg.com, Reddit.com and Meneame.net (Spanish) became recently very successful as typical Web 2.0 mechanisms. They use qualified voting, social networks and automated quality rating for entries, usually news.

You probably are reading this article because you found it on Digg.com or similar aggregator.

Aggregators as idea marketplaces

Are News Aggregators feasible idea marketplaces? Can you post an idea and see if it catches on? I assume you can .

Business ideas can be filtered by the News Aggregator public and that could be a predictor of its future acceptance by the general public. If the idea is accepted by the masses, savvy investors will be able to catch them.

Political ideas can also have a similar mechanism. Anyone could launch a proposal and the politicians fishing for good ideas could profit from it. Conversely, someone who reaches Top-Digg user status (good Karma in the pligg-like systems) can become a good real-life politician.

Empty domain names are like business proposals, and are also subject to Aggregator treatment. Such Aggregator could be the ideal automated domain valuation system.

Aggregators could be used for painters to test their sketches, for advertisers to test their logos or catchy phrases, for models-to-be to expose their beauties, or for conferences looking for appealing speakers. The Barcamp geeky Web 2.0 conferences use such a system.

There are a few necessary conditions for an aggregator to be successful: good coding, critical mass and some of the features described above in IdeaExchange and Ideosphere.

Finally, I started one aggregator for business ideas at www.business-ideas.com.ar and one for local political ideas at www.ideaspoliticas.com.ar . I am ready to start others by request.

Why I have 2 accounts in each of these 80 social networks

I want to be able to test every social network for its promoting power for my stories. Some of them are going to be more receptive than others, depending on its size, difficulty, subject and to the importance they give to old, reliable accounts.

Social networks give a value to each user, sometimes called ‘karma’, and that value is useful for promotion of stories, either the own user stories or stories from ‘friends’ and strangers.

I am sticking to 2 accounts per network because it is well known that they detect some features that could point to spam, namely IP. Of course, IP can be defeated by using a navigation proxy, but that needs information, expertise and a potentially self-destructive desire to spam the sites. The second account is used if the first one loses value, or to start polemic discussions that are often followed with more attention.

I read about a “snowball” effect while promoting stories in the Digg-like sites, started from a minor network, where it should be easier to get noticed, and bringing users/friends/voters to the other sites. It would be useful if the home of your stories included the links pointing to the other social networks where the visitor can vote you. For that, I included a couple of plugins in my WordPress blog.

Stories are improved by user feedback and testing as they pass thru networks.

I am starting to test the power of this promotion technique, not too fast because I need my accounts to be mature enough. An account is mature when it had some time and healthy activity in the networks. As in real life networks, you cannot arrive, post your story and expect everyone admire you.

It is also good if your stories refer to the same subject, and if you develop virtual ‘friends’ that show their trust in you. It is important to complete a profile and include a photo.

This is the partial list of the networks where I am now. If this story gets enough Diggs, Propellers, Reddits, and so on, I plan to add the age, votes and karma of all the accounts, to help value them.  Continue reading

Top Diggers have potential for Top Businessmen or Top Politicians

The social networks are the biggest thing in the Web these days. The large amount of garbage that the web accumulates every day needed a cleanup mechanism, and Digg and the others succeeded at selecting the good and burying the bad.

People who are opinion leaders in Real or Virtual life share some positive qualities: smell for value and potential, balance, information, focus and native leadership.

Then, if the Digg model model works for news, it should also work for political views and business ideas. If many qualified voters digg up a political idea, the idea is closer to be imposed by the upcoming politicians. Moreover, if you are a Top-100 Digg.com User, you probably have a smell for good news and ideas, and you can BE a good politician. After all, your views are followed by a large community.

Thus, I implemented 2 social networks using a Digg-like system called Pligg: one is http://business-ideas.com.ar . Its focus is on business ideas that can be pushed up if they are good, or buried if they are bad or merely shy. The other is oriented to political ideas, for now in my home country: http://ideaspoliticas.com.ar. I seeded some ideas of my own, and I expect the public and the Top Diggers will tell me if they are good or not. Of course, both systems are open to anyone’s ideas or proposals.

What comes first? A story being Top 100 because Top 100 Diggers liked it? Or a Digger reaching the Top 100 because he diggs Top 100 stories? Both seem to be true. As in real life, once trend-setters start setting trends, they continue doing so for whatever the do. In business, that is the Midas touch. It also applies to the stock exchange and real estate markets. If Donald Trump or Bill Gates buy, you better buy. If they sell, do as they do. Or you will be stuck with unvaluable land or an Apple II relic.

Now, if you are a Top Digger, you will recognize your own status as Idea Judge, and my recognition to your recognition, and you will Digg Up this story!

Viral Business Proposal: Complaint boards as means to enforce website service quality

The original idea was a “CompanyBoard” business, in which I would run a Complaint Book for my clients. This Book would have been a forum system hosted in my server, where customers could complain or endorse the company.

The owner of the Complaint Book would supply a link in to the forum in my domain. My hosting the forum would prevent the owner from doctoring the results.

However, I found some complexities related to judge posting quality. Company enemies ccould be negative in public or paid supporters could be over positive.

I still think the business is feasible, but I would not use a forum, but a Digg-like News Aggregator. I am running one named Business-ideas.com.ar, expecting that the best business ideas will climb to the top. I am also running one for political ideas in Argentina: Ideaspol.com.

The news aggregators have a sophisticated voting system that would allow users to write reports about a company, and the community would vote about quality of the report.

The users develop ‘karma’, a quality related to credibility. Karma is automatically managed by a hidden algorithm in the system.

The pligg module will be modified to improve the quality of the complaints, preventing fraud or manipulation.

The companies will be offered a free or paid service. The paid service will have many more features.

This idea is ready to be launched. Today, Oct. 22-2007, I need a partner bringing U$D 6000, for 40% of the business.

I am listening…