Site Idea – Must Read Thread Reporter

Strength in numbersOver the years I’ve learnt a great deal from various forums, websites and blogs. One of the motives behind the Friday roundup is to share links to useful information and not so easily found posts so as to minimize the cumulative time spent browsing through the crud. I find forums like Digital Point have many really knowledgeable members who have contributed to some excellent threads that many entrepreneurs would really benefit from reading. However for every good thread there are hundreds that are a complete waste of reading time and if you bring General Chat and the Politics section into contention then those 100s of pointless time draining posts could easily turn into 1000s.

So I’m currently on holiday sat by the pool unwinding and thinking about other site and business ideas and this is the first I’d like to share. I remember chatting to my friend Johann (to be honest I think the bones of this were his idea) about adapting a forum so that it wouldn’t need regular moderators as the members would moderate it themselves via votes (a bit like how the digg commenting system works), so if 10 (trusted) members voted a post as spam it would be automatically removed (or at least hidden).  You could also adapt it so that if somebody asked a question and there were for example 10 answers members could again vote which answers were accurate and which are plain wrong and illustrate accordingly.

This all got me thinking about how we could improve (or automate) our weekly roundup post. You could create a toolbar (a more sophisticated version of http://www.stumbleupon.com/) to allow a group of individuals to mark posts that they find useful and then on a weekly (or at appropriate intervals) automatically make a post. In many ways this is like services offered by places like del.icio.us with the main difference being you choose the group of people vetting the content and creating the links to it on your site.

cocktail.jpgOkay I’m now finishing this post in some cocktail bar on a Turkish street and I think there is a fair amount of duplicity in the idea but still there is enough of a twist to make at least a mini site from it. Especially  with the death of threadwatch I’d certainly be interested in a site that just reported, actually not even reported, just linked to the good stuff that people I trust had found, hmmm that kind of sounds like the ideal diggish thing.

(Al is still enjoying his holiday this week so he sent this post from his phone which I put live on his behalf)

About Scott Jones

Scott hails from the north east of Scotland and started earning online at the end of 2000 building websites for local businesses during which time he won an award from Lord Alan Sugar for Excellence in Enterprise. After having quite a bit of success with domaining Scott mainly runs educational evergreen websites which generate over 3 million visitors per month but is always on the lookout for a fresh thinking out of the box way to turn a buck. Follow on Twitter.

Comments

  1. This seems to follow an idea that I had but my idea didnt include a digg like approach for getting rid of spam.

    The idea would really only work on a busy forum. Basically each thread can be rated by users and those that meet a threshold of good votes are automatically promoted in to another forum. I guess the weight of a users vote could be calculated on experience and reputation that being a member who contributes more good to the forum has more weight to throw at the voting system.

    Basically we could take digitalpoint forums as an example. They have tons of threads like “stumble me and Ill stumble you 3x” and “how much do you make per day with adsense” and the list of all this clutter goes on and on. There are some real gems of threads that are to be found. If a voting system was in place then a section devoted to these gems could be made and you can browse around “good advice” only with out the junk around it. You vote a thread because it is good, it then gets promoted in to a “good threads only section” making it more of a gold mine to find info.

    However, you would need to be careful not to take away from the growing part of the forum. No doubt everyone will go to the gold mine and trash those threads.

    Anyway… just a few thoughts I have had for a year or so 😉

  2. I can’t believe VB hasn’t implemented the ability to bury useless replies and threads.

  3. OK This seems like a good idea bit how will it be monetized?

    Also there is a major flaw with this too.

    What I might find intersting might not be the appealing to most others or vice versa. How will you over over come that problem to make it appealing for as many people as possible?

    • I’ve fınally found a PC to comment on so holıday gets a bıut easıerŞ oh and thanks Scott for postıng thıs.

      The ıdea ıs to have the people you choose to vote and rate be knowledgable about the nıche so ıf you’re readıng a sıte lıke thıs you can guarantee the lınks would be relevent to our content

      Wıth regards to a self moderatıng forum that could be a bıt more trıcky but ın the end the communıty would run ıt as such.

      Appologıes for spellıng and the odd funny letter şçŞÇiIı but Turkısh keyboards are strange wıth no spellchecker ın sıgt.

      • Classic! Dodgy foreign keyboards, and a reply filled with typos!

        Oh err, better comment on the subject in hand else my comment will be getting filed under spam, under your new system! 😉

        Its certainly a great idea, implementing it would be tough, it would need some kind of complex algo to weed out potential abuse etc. If something like this could be implemented on DP, it would improve the forum tenfold!

  4. Great idea Al! The same idea can be applied to websites. I’m big fan of techbargains.com and used to visit it daily, but got tired of sifting through all the deals after a while. It also appears as if they have to manually review user submissions before posting. I was wondering if there was a way to automate this.

    So I thought that I would experiment by developing a site called FreeBestDeal.com, currently underdevelopment. Users can submit deals are automatically posted. The deals get put on a top deals list, or automatically removed based upon a voting system similar to one that you described.

    Abdul, I think that the members would only down vote obvious spam. Any posts with content, they would leave alone.

  5. Starting to wonder about digital point to be honest, it seems like every other member is just there to pimp their money making scheme rather than share knowledge. The rest of the members are as clueless as me.

    A lot of them seem to be young teenagers or wannabee gurus spouting motivational gibbersh, with the sole intention of pimping the link to their adsense site. It actually destroys my motivation reading that site, it’s about as informative as typing “Get money for nothing” in to google and then clicking all the adwords links.

    • I actually tend to prefer smaller forums, as Digital Point and similar just gets clogged with useless, pointless posts and threads.

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