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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Judging Links project idea

A while back I tried to start another open source project that I wanted to call Judging Links, which is about setting up a website that takes user suggestions for good webpages, and also has users who judge the picked sites, and a voting option for visitors which is used for administration of the linkers and judgers in a completely automated way.

Yup a bit of an ambitious project which I actually had up on Java.net as a project, as I hoped to mainly architect it and bring in a bunch of others to code, but I kind of stumbled on the recruitment, and gave up on the project before any code was written.

But I thought to myself, well, at least I can put it on my programming blog! So here is something from an early project document I started when trying to get things before. I didn't get a lot down, but it has the gist of it.


What is Judging Links?

The Internet offers the possibility of leveraging the efforts of many people from all over the world to find the best information. However, that capability is yet to be fully utilized while several projects like the Wikipedia have made substantial progress. The Judging Links project aims to fully leverage the power of the Internet to connect people by allowing people called Linkers to suggest websites, and people called Judgers to determine the value of those sites, to create a web portal that will have the best of the web. This is a working manual that will provide a guide. Developers will edit this document as the project develops, and it is to be the primary development document.

People like to recommend and at its heart the project is about letting people who like to find things they like and recommend them to others operate with full freedom.
However, the reality is that what one person likes, many others may dislike, so there are people who supply the critical category, and, of course, there are usually plenty of people willing to criticize!

How it all works

The primary mission of development is simply providing a way for people to do what they do best with a minimum of fuss, while allowing management without a lot of developer involvement.

That mission defines the project and keeping it in mind is paramount for success. Users need to have a seamless experience where if they are recommending a link it’s easy and straightforward and if they are judging links, it is easy as well.
Simplicity is best.

Linkers and Judgers

The Linkers will have the option of recommending links to websites in various categories, with the requirement that they write a short description which tells what the link is about and why it’s a great link. That means that to be a good Linker a person will have to be able to not only find good links, but write well also. The two requirements go together, as it’s important that a Linker know why they’re recommending a particular link, and having to write about why, helps.

The Judgers will have their own categories where they specialize with an option to also do some critiquing in off-categories.

And that's all I had, where I did some editing to clean up some things as it was uglier than I remember. Well, I had just started.

Here's a bit more from another early planning doc.


The project would create a framework and beta implementation with a front end GUI for primary views, and two internal GUI's for superusers who after registering would either be able to suggest websites, or judge suggestions. Linkers would have their sites face judgement from the Judgers who would be judged by the overall site's success.

The front-end of the project will contain links to websites under maybe 5 categories as I don't like webpages that are full of stuff.

Under each category there will be 5 top sites, and 5 middle sites, where the order comes from ratings by the Judgers, while the sites are given by the Linkers.

The main front-end allows any user to give feedback on overall quality like with options to click good, bad, really crappy, or great links!

That minimizes fraud by making the easy input come from anybody while the real work is done internally, and hopefully there would be enough site visitors such that Judgers couldn't elevate themselves, but hey, if they can, then why not?

If they have good sites, then they have good sites.

Judgers can judge in only 2 of the 5 categories and depending on how well their categories do, the bottom 25% or 50% are dropped over any particular quarter.

That guarantees a lot of turnover in the judging field. Linkers are turned over by the Judgers.

Linkers whose sites are consistently judged poor are judged down, while for good sites they are rated up.

Their max rating is 3, if they're judged down below 0, they're out.

There are 3 categories for linkers:

New Linker
Linker
Super Linker

People can opt out of being a linker at any time, or they can get kicked out if they're not performing.

Judgers have a max rating of 3 as well. But rate higher based on longevity, and just get a title, as if they are in the bottom 50% or 25% depending on which is getting tossed, their rating doesn't matter.

Judgers have 3 categories as well:

New Judge
Judge
Supreme

Judges can opt out at any time, or they can be kicked out based on their overall site performance.

I don't think it matters if people try to be both a Judger and a Linker at the same time for any reason like to try and help themselves as the job should be hard enough that if anyone can pull it off, more power to them.

Amazingly enough, people will work hard in a fair system, without getting paid.

People kicked out are x-Linkers or x-Judgers, and who cares if they sneak back in under a new ID as they have to perform.

Most of the project development will be on the database for managing information, and on the GUI's for ease of use, and to minimize the possibility for fraud.

Opportunities within the project abound for data management, GUI development, and utilization of distributed resources.

It's kind of pie in the sky but if successful the idea would be a real interactive way to dynamically get the best websites that could rival methods used by the current big players.

Yeah, that was a lot more detailed. So the idea is out there. Maybe someday I'll come back to this, but for now, at least it's on my blog.



James Harris
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