David Koelle Profile picture
Jul 18, 2018 32 tweets 6 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
THREAD: How would the Age of Reputation affect discourse in Social Media? (1/31)
(2/31) In the early days of the World Wide Web, there were few ways to validate that the person on the other end of a connection was actually that person. Becoming anonymous was easy, which was both powerful and frightening at the same time.
(3/31) A clever comic from the July 5, 1993 issue of The New Yorker proclaimed, "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_the_In…
(4/31) Later in the 90's, sites like eBay and Amazon needed to overcome this anonymity to ensure that sellers, buyers, and product reviewers actually were who they said they were - or at least that the account that posted was credible.
(5/31) Thus began an Age of Reputation. On eBay, it *mattered* how many positive and negative interactions you had with others. On Amazon, it *mattered* that you purchased the item you're reviewing.
(6/31) While "The Age of Reputation" was coined years ago, recent articles are proclaiming it as if it were new:
(7/31) FastCompany, April 2018: "Say Goodbye to the Information Age, It's All About Reputation Now" fastcompany.com/40565050/say-g…
(8/31) Forbes, May 2018: "Why Your Digital Reputation Matters And How To Influence It" forbes.com/sites/forbesag…
(9/31) Here's a question posted on Quora only 6 days ago (not by me): "Are we entering the age of reputation?" quora.com/unanswered/Are…
(10/31) Now, name a popular social media site where people can post messages to their heart's content, but that has no generalized reputation system (i.e., not a blue check).
(11/31) On Twitter, there is no reputation management system. On Twitter, nobody knows you're a dog. Or a Russian bot - or, not even a bot, but a Russian meddler. Or a non-foreign meddler who likes/wants/is paid to fan the flames.
(12/31) Researchers can do some analytics to determine whether accounts seem to exhibit bot-like behavior, but reputable accounts can also appear bot-like, and non-reputable accounts can appear to be legitimate.
(13/31) As I read replies to political posts, I am *certain* that in real life, there are not as many people as it would seem tweeting about the political issue du jour ALL DAY LONG, on any side of the aisle.
(14/31) I am absolutely unconvinced that there are real middle Americans who have nothing else to do but comment on politics constantly all day long, 5 posts per hour each hour.
(15/31) Nor am I convinced that there are regular Joes and Janes out there who happen to be at the right place at the right time to respond to posts from popular sources immediately (whether CNN or Fox News or a variety of commentators), or who are so quick with a meme.
(16/31) I'm not convinced that the Twitterverse is as full of well-spoken thought leaders and hashtag promulgators who just happen to be retired aunts who loves apple pie and blue jeans (and oh, by the way, who have made 24.5K posts in the last 7 years) as it seems to be.
(17/31) The hashtags... #SchumerShutdown, #TreasonSummit... these are mantras for pushing messages, for fanning the flames, for polarizing the people on Twitter who *are* legitimate users and real people.
(18/31) But again... on Twitter, nobody knows you're a dog. It is *really hard to tell* whether the person you just followed because of a clever witticism that jives with your outlook but you just couldn't find those same well-crafted words...
(19/31) ...whether that person has your best interests in mind, or whether you have become an unwitting recipient of further ideation that skews you one way or the other along a policital spectrum...
(20/31) ...who keeps the conversation flowing, the dissension growing, the seeds of dissatisfaction sowing.
(21/31) Or who can count your involvement as a tally mark in some table of Sneetches, star-bellied or not; or who, in a service devoid of a means for managing reputation, uses your tally mark as a proxy for a false reputation:
(22/31) a reputation apparently built on number of followers, as if the number of one's followers increases the legitimacy of the user; as if any Twitter metric, like "likes" or "posts", increases the legitimacy of the user.
(23/31) Which is all to say: WHAT IF TWITTER HAD A REPUTATION SYSTEM? Not the blue check mark: not a "Yes, we've checked it out and this is the *real* Homer Simpson" label, but an actual reputation system that points out real, legitimate people.
(24/31) Maybe if such a system were easy to create, it would have been done by now. (Maybe.)
(25/31) Twitter recently purged suspicious locked accounts, and some popular people's follower counts went down. (Mine didn't budge, guess I'm not *that* cool.)
(26/31) I'm willing to bet that there are many, many more accounts that are managed properly, who don't get locked out by following 5000 people on the account's first day, but that happen to not be real people.
(27/31) If there were a reputation system, what if: You could elect to only be followed by reputable accounts? If you could only follow reputable accounts? If you could only see posts from reputable accounts, despite who share the post?
(28/31) Would this clean up the Twitterverse, or would it give us a Twitterverse of the Reputation Have's and the Reputation Have-Not's? Would we suddenly have classes on Twitter based on reputation score, and would that kill the conversation?
(29/31) This would be hard to know. Twitter is essentially a world-wide social experiment. And it's not something that can be readily changed one way of the other to see what the effect is.
(30/31) (Twitter just relocated the status bar on the Android app and it took be days before I realized the thing just wasn't broken and missing the status bar)
(31/31) So, that's my conversation starter: Should Twitter have a reputation system, how would the conversation change if it did, and how would we ever truly know the effect of such a thing until it were actually implemented?

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Jul 10, 2018
THREAD: Usability insights requested from those who like word games and puzzles ! Please follow along with me for a bit of exposition, then provide your input! (1/17) #Puzzles #WordGames #UI #UX
(2/17) Imagine you're using a new tool to search for solutions to word puzzles. One thing this tool lets you do is discover pairs of words in which two consecutive letters anywhere within one word are reversed in other words.
(3/17) For example, "dairy" & "diary", "united" & "untied", "geocentric" & "egocentric", and "unclear" & "nuclear" share this property.
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