Apr 2, 2009
At long last, I’ve got something to show you all; I present Mnikr (pronounced like “moniker”).
Mnikr is a system both to allow you to take advantage of the entire Distributed Social network (DiSo), and to allow everyone to build reputations online through a stock-market-like system. How does that work? Well, each person can buy up to five shares of another person’s reputation (five shares in one person, not five shares total). As that person’s reputation rises, the investor (and the person in question) receives dividends– one could think of them as “goodwill,” which can then be invested back into the community.
So there are a few core ideas here, that I think are interesting:
- People aren’t responsible for their reputation; their friends are. So in Mnikr, you can’t buy shares of your own reputation, only your friends can.
- People with higher reputations can invest in other people, raising those other people’s reputations as well. Since the primary way to get the points with which to buy reputations is through dividends, the people with the highest reputations can seed trust and reputation throughout the community.
- Social networks are often held back by adoption; it’s not worth it to join a new one unless your friends are there too. Since Mnikr uses every social network simultaneously, everyone’s already there; you can use the Search tab to find their Identity.
- Reputation isn’t tied to your true name; it’s tied to who you are on the Internet. On Mnikr, reputation is held by an Identity, which is a coalesced thing from all of the Personas each of us has on the Internet; for instance, I have an account at Digg, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, CPAN, Upcoming, Blip.tv– the list goes on. Each of those is one persona, but their sum is my total existence on the Internet; my Identity. None of them necessarily need to be tied to my real name, which is useful.
- Rather than trying to use a computer to figure out what humans think, we’re just going to ask them. Reputation is a traditionally unquantifiable thing, and there are many sites which have tried simply to say “you’re more popular if more people link to your blog,” or “you’re more popular if Britney Spears follows you on Twitter.” Either, both, or neither may be true, but I think that reputation is much more nebulous than that. Therefore, I’m hoping that people will use Mnikr as a more holistic measure of what they think, rather than what a computer determines they might think.
I’ll be writing my Master’s thesis on Mnikr’s design and, with your help, some of the results we find together. Regardless, though, I’ve greatly enjoyed working on it, and I hope all of you will enjoy using it to explore your social networks. It has a fledgeling API as well; I’m hoping that some enterprising developers might enjoy using the reputation data Mnikr will provide.
As thanks for reading my blog, I’ll give you a code to get some starter points with which to buy your first few reputation shares:
That will give you 50 points, which will be enough to invest in at least a few people around you. Again, find your friends using the Search tab, if they don’t show up on the list of friends on your own page. You can enter the code on your Portfolio tab; it’s displayed when you log in. Mnikr uses OpenID for logins, so you don’t have to create yet another account!
Please feel free to leave comments here, or using the Feedback link at Mnikr (which will take you to Uservoice); I’m anxious to hear comments, critiques, criticisms, or suggestions for more features!
Once again, thanks for reading, and I hope to see you all at Mnikr!
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