Open source HN/Digg/reddit-style app that uses bitcoins

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Alexis Ohanian
Alexis OhanianPro@alexisohanian · Co-founder, Initialized Capital, Reddit
Buying your way onto the frontpage is part of what killed digg. Marketers ruin (or try to) everything -- I'd be really weary of a system like this. But hey, reddit is open-source after all, so I'd encourage someone to try it out (esp with doge!).
Kevin Rose
Kevin Rose@kevinrose · Builder of internet things.
There is a black market for every UGC site. When you have millions of eyeballs there is no avoiding that. Buying re-pins, reddit votes, followers, etc. -- it all exists today. Re: voting w/ cryptocurrency, I don't think the solution here is to bolt-on bitcoin (or even doge). I've used tipdoge quite a bit on reddit, it's fun, but I'd rather have a deeper holistic integration. In creating a new currency (e.g. votecoin) for the app you can shift the concept of mining. Mining would be the act of vetting incoming submissions. As you vote (placing your bet) you are paid votecoin dividends based on the overall popularity of the story. New story submissions would cost votecoin and advertisers could only purchase ads via votecoin (giving liquidity to the users doing the heavy lifting). Anyhow... I've been working this out in a spreadsheet for a few months now, I think it's doable. Of course the devil is in the details. https://twitter.com/kevinrose/st...
Ryan HooverHunterPro@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
I worry when product designers add monetary incentives. Most product engagement (and more broadly, things we do in our life) are driven by intrinsic motivations (e.g. sense of belonging, reputation, mastery). In Hooked, a book I helped @nireyal write on building habit-forming products, we compared Stack Exchange and Mahalo Answers (also related: You’d Be Surprised By What Really Motivates Users). On Stack Exchange, people receive recognition and "points" from fellow community members for their contributions. Mahalo Answers gave people money for answering questions, thinking it would build a better Q&A site but in reality, money is a far less attractive incentive. Mahalo Answers ultimately failed. That said, there's something here. It might seem counterintuitive but restricting engagement and adding friction can actually create a more compelling experience. The Dogecoin community is fascinating and has a unique culture of giving. IMHO, the act of tipdoge'ing (is that the verb?) is an act of appreciation and has little to do with the transactional, monetary exchange.
Ryan HooverHunterPro@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
This is a fascinating project. Read the README for details but in short @fisher_lebo created an open source HN/Digg/reddit-style app where users pay bitcoin (~$0.01 - $0.03) to submit and upvote/downvote with a goal to: (1) Increase quality of content (2) Monetize the site and/or content creators Should we add this to Product Hunt? ;) Curious to hear @abramdawson, @kevinrose, & @alexisohanian's thoughts on this.
Fisher Lebo
Fisher Lebo@fisher_lebo · slacker
@alexisohanian, I definitely had that in my head, and it is probably the biggest weakness of an approach like this. You could actually encourage gaming the site. I was using Digg years back and remember the "cartels" of people that would vote up stories even when money was not directly involved. I *think* this could be countered a few ways. 1) The simple existence of downvotes means that content which is overly spammy (spammy enough that people feel like spending a $0.01 to downvote) might stay off the front page. 2) Some decent moderation either across the site as a whole or on subreddits would have the same effect. The expenditure dynamic goes both ways. Yes, spammers could game the site and make money, but if they spend a substantial amount to get something upvoted and users or moderators reject it as spam, that is wasted money for the spammers. Obviously too much moderation could just as easily become politicized (especially with money involved), but the codebase I based this on has some features like a moderator log that everyone could see, maybe that could be mitigated. Anyway, none of this is news to you. I'm just as skeptical about the idea as anyone else. It intrigues me, but not enough to actually host the site. Hopefully someone will run with the idea, I'd like to see what would happen. Note: Just last week before launching this I saw an old tweet by @kevinrose suggesting a similar approach if Digg was running today. So it seems like some people have been thinking about something like this as of late.