iKarma
April 26, 2006 5:41 AM   Subscribe

I can't work out if iKarma is a well-intentioned stab at applying the power of social software to the world of business, or simply a well-intentioned scrape at the bottom of the Web 2.0 barrel.
posted by Jofus (32 comments total)

 
(Second link is to Tom Coates' blog - simply because he satisfies all my social-software-discourse-type needs...)
posted by Jofus at 5:42 AM on April 26, 2006


This is like scary bad. I notice that they are publicly traded, maybe I can short their stock.

I guess this kind of reputation whoring is the flip side of those sites where people can report on their previous romantic partners.

Seriously, if someone found their iKarma (oh geez I feel soiled somehow just typing that) was starting to tank, they'd just stop linking to it and/or have iKarma close their account. Or challenge each bad entry. "Joe Blow is lying!"

And I'm sure none of these service providers have personal enemies or anything....
posted by beth at 6:22 AM on April 26, 2006


Well, ikarmasucks.com is still available.
posted by veedubya at 6:32 AM on April 26, 2006


ikarmakarma.com
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:33 AM on April 26, 2006


So, on the whole Beth, you're leaning towards option B?

For what it's worth, I am too. I think this is the kind of idea that our children will look back on and shriek with embarrassment - kind of like me at pictures of my Mum in a banana-yellow flared trouser suit circa 1971.
posted by Jofus at 6:34 AM on April 26, 2006


My iPatience is running low on unoriginal business name hooks.
posted by a. at 6:36 AM on April 26, 2006


I've been recieving daily spam pimping this stock. Anyone that says "Could iKarma become the MySpace of the business community? YOU never know...." is ready to pump and dump. Going short looks like a great idea.
posted by thekorruptor at 6:38 AM on April 26, 2006


whatever you think of iKarma, the web sorely needs a clearing house for customer comments.
posted by unSane at 6:53 AM on April 26, 2006


Cool, its 1999 all over. I have my old job back, my stock options are worth 1 million bucks, I go ride crittical mass religiously, get stoned every day, Clinton is still President and 9/11 is not even a remote possibility. What a great time to be alive.
posted by NewBornHippy at 6:54 AM on April 26, 2006


the web sorely needs a clearing house for customer comments.

Please describe a way to implement such that would not result in vulnerability to abuse in both the positive (paying / enticing people to post false positive comments) and negative (people put up by competitors or personal enemies posting false negative comments) ways.

Seriously. I don't know if there is a way to do it.

And I left out the part about the problem of how to arbitrate a dispute over whether a negative comment is valid or not.
posted by beth at 7:13 AM on April 26, 2006


Please describe a way to implement such that would not result in vulnerability to abuse in both the positive (paying / enticing people to post false positive comments) and negative

Please describe why this is a reason to not try.
posted by yerfatma at 7:21 AM on April 26, 2006


I thought we were on Web 2.1 now?
posted by ninjew at 7:22 AM on April 26, 2006


ikarmachameleon.com is also available. For those tricky recommendations.

well, someone had to say it.
posted by gsb at 7:28 AM on April 26, 2006


Please describe why this is a reason to not try.

Because it will turn into a steaming shitpile and customers will learn not to trust it. But hey, I guess if you can get some VC funding and pump and dump the stock, then you can come out a winner! Good times.

Just get out before you start getting sued.

Seriously, the customers who really want to know a business or service provider's reputation have no way of knowing whether a feedback giver is a shill.

I guess the Better Business Bureau deals with stuff like this and manages to do okay, but they deal with specific complaints and get input from both sides in disputes.
posted by beth at 7:34 AM on April 26, 2006


Actually, I found this link while idly browsing Flickr. It was this photo that led me to the iKarma site. They (or whoever produced this toot) do in fact sound like a proper bunch of tosspots.
posted by Jofus at 7:35 AM on April 26, 2006


You can find all these new AJAX sites on Tech Crunch. Highly recommended.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 7:40 AM on April 26, 2006


Because it will turn into a steaming shitpile and customers will learn not to trust it. But hey, I guess if you can get some VC funding and pump and dump the stock, then you can come out a winner! Good times.

It's 2006. The cynical, jaded act? So 2004. I'm afraid I have to give you .
posted by yerfatma at 7:41 AM on April 26, 2006


The cynical, jaded act?

Rather than attempting to make some strange inference based on her dispostion, I'd like to see you answer her original question that you quoted.
posted by prostyle at 7:48 AM on April 26, 2006


A centralized reputation system is like a fit-for-all shoe: pink, in soft plastic, size 9, left foot.
posted by bru at 7:51 AM on April 26, 2006


A name like iKarma has no chance. If anything, Rapleaf probably has the concept locked down better. Rather than approaching it from the social network side, Rapleaf tackles it as a universal ecommerce eBay-style feedback respository with an open API. And rather than allowing a pure free-for-all commenting system, Rapleaf appears to have built in comment "challenges" and a system for distinguishing comment fraud. It really comes down to how well the fraud system works and the ease-of-use in the API.
posted by junesix at 8:18 AM on April 26, 2006


I'd like to see you answer her original question that you quoted.

The implication being if I don't know the answer it can't be done? You have far too much faith in me. Also, if I did have a good idea, I'm not sure I'd be dropping my business plan here. You got me though.
posted by yerfatma at 8:34 AM on April 26, 2006


I totally got the spam about the iKarma stock this morning too, and I actually went and checked the site out. I'm actually kind of surprised to see a mefi post about it, but yeah hat everyone else said plus:

For me, the archetype of the business set is my dad (no armchair psychology please). Usually, when I want to guess how a business service will do I try to imagine pitching it to my dad, and this usually is a very useful visualization exercise and a good indicator of how useful the (non-e) business world will react to a product or service.

For the record, my dad's predicted first response is: "What the hell is an iKarma? Is it a mac?"

Response after the explanation:

"Who the hell would care about that? I would fire anyone I caught using that at work."

So that's the prediction I'm going with. Plus the spam I got was trying to sell me their stock, which is usually a good indicator of a high-risk investment.

I wish them well. Their intro flash animation is pretty funny, with 50 DKP plus for having the good guy be the one in the suit for a change.
posted by illovich at 8:54 AM on April 26, 2006


I don't have the answer to beth's question, but it probably has something to do with Friend-of-a-Friend and Trustâ„¢, extrapolated large. The LinkedIn service seems to be doing this stuff fairly successfully to some extent (though I haven't used it).

I don't think it has much to do with iKarma - I don't see how the e-bay/amazon rating model can be abstracted from actual transactions (which is what it seems to do). The Rapleaf thing seems to have the right general idea - basing the system on real transactions, but how well they are able to moderate the system remains to be seen.

This idea of a generic reputation system is spectaularly riddled with complications and potencial for abuse that it is probably several years (and a lot of experimentation, mistakes and money) away from any kind of real, workable solution.

On the other hand, iKarma is, "...designed from the ground up to be intensely viral", and is, "...diligently working with the Web 2.0 community to incorporate Web 2.0 features and open architecture.", so you never know.
posted by MetaMonkey at 8:58 AM on April 26, 2006


Also, this looks to be a sign Bubble 2.0 is maturing nicely, this is the first conspicuously 'web 2.0' company I've heard of to go public. Are there others? I wonder if anyone is tracking the stock prices of these new web 2.0 businesses. Would be fun to watch the bubble inflate in hard numbers.
posted by MetaMonkey at 9:07 AM on April 26, 2006


We could track them online -and link to our friends!
posted by Jofus at 9:14 AM on April 26, 2006


Can someone pls. explain to me what exactly the fuck is "Web 2.0" about this site?

I also can't really imagine any way this would be a wise investment. The liability a site like that must carry around is immense.
posted by mkultra at 9:21 AM on April 26, 2006


It's web 2.0 cos it's got curvy edges and a cardigan-wearing, hand in the pockets kind of approach to user interaction. Oh, and AJAX goodness. Whatever the fuck that is.
posted by Jofus at 9:43 AM on April 26, 2006


mkultra: Web 2.0 is about social networks and collaborative filtering (e.g. Last.FM) as much as AJAX-y interfaces.

I think the IPO hype is gag-inducing, and the name is actually more reminiscent of the last bubble than of this one -- but I do think they have an interesting idea (though I won't argue against Rapleaf winning the implementation war). It would be interesting if you could take your 5000 eBay positive ratings and use that to leverage something else. TechCrunch review. If you ask me, it sounds overly complex.
posted by dhartung at 10:30 AM on April 26, 2006


On the other hand, iKarma is, "...designed from the ground up to be intensely viral", and is, "...diligently working with the Web 2.0 community to incorporate Web 2.0 features and open architecture.", so you never know.


Lord help us all. *shakes head*. What's the phrase for what happens after jumping the shark? I nominate 'this bird has flown'.
posted by rmm at 10:40 AM on April 26, 2006


Cool, its 1999 all over. I have my old job back, my stock options are worth 1 million bucks, I go ride crittical mass religiously, get stoned every day, Clinton is still President and 9/11 is not even a remote possibility. What a great time to be alive.

I felt the same as NewBornHippy (minus the stock options and stoniness.) Lately I keep seeing things that make me think:
Sweet! Dot Com Boom 2.0, here we come!
posted by salvia at 10:47 AM on April 26, 2006


As a long time reader of Metafilter I would like to assure everyone here that no one at or associated with iKarma had anything to do with the mass of stock promotion spam that has been circulated. We at iKarma.com depend on our ability to send our users email notifications and reports and sending out spam would jeopardize our business, not help it. One of the problems with being a public company is that anyone who invests a few dollars seems to feel they can help their investment by doing their own unauthorized stock promotion. We are currently working diligently to track down the spammer and to stop them. We are also making arrangements to make a donation to an anti-spam organization on behalf of those who have had their email boxes filled with this junk as a gesture of our commitment toward stopping this problem. I'll be happy to debate the pros and cons of reputation management and iKarma.com with you at a later date. But for now I need to focus on stopping this spam problem. I appreciate your patience and apologise for any inconvienence. Sincerely, Paul Williams ceo - iKarma Inc.
posted by PaulWilliams at 4:22 PM on April 26, 2006


now that's web 2.0/conversational markets/cluetrain!
posted by infini at 6:44 PM on April 26, 2006


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