Sunday, January 11, 2015

Expected alignment idea

One of those things that interests me is what people expect to see in a certain social media context. And I'm still thinking as well about some ideas I quickly brainstormed at the end of last year. And oh yeah, by the way, that's a lot of fun. So I kind of just began musing to myself, realized I had quite a few ideas, and then just dumped them out on my blog.

It's so much fun to have your own blog. Like, if I didn't have this blog, where would I have put that writing?

It really wouldn't have fit on my other blogs as well as here, and now I'm pondering other aspects of what a social media company might, in my opinion, need.

One thing I think would be an innovation would be allowing posters to put up an expected alignment. Like tags, I guess, so if I'm going to put up math, I'd note for the expected audience that the subject would be mathematical in nature.

It's already a concept used in gaming. I'm thinking about something more specific though, where for instance a person might note an alignment of conservative, religious, pragmatic. And I'd keep out alignments too closely related to prejudice, like race or sex, or sexual orientation, or a specific religion, or age. Another person might align, liberal, free spirit, creative.

That may seem like it's primarily for the audience, but I think finding people who just want to make a mess of things is good, but how do you identify them?

And I think expected alignment could work as it's self-identification, and then you can check complaints against expected alignments.

So if you have a group of people who align well, and one person mis-aligns and receives a lot of complaints you can easily check to see if that person is crashing the party for some reason or other. If their behavior is in keeping with their alignments then they may or may not be.

Or you can check people's behavior against their declared alignment to see if they're lying.

And people could change them at will though a record would be kept, so you could trend to their usual alignment.

Declaring alignment could be completely voluntary. So if people didn't want to do it, they could just, not.

I like that idea. It's kind of like letting people put metaphorical clothing on their cyber selves. And what expected alignment they choose is considered in the context of their behavior, like you wear a suit to one event, and dress down in jeans for usual wear.

James Harris
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