Plastic is dangling carrots in front of users,
February 23, 2001 11:57 AM   Subscribe

Plastic is dangling carrots in front of users, but my first thought is "ewww." Many successful communities have feedback mechanisms, but is a monetary one the best choice? Is this a good way to encourage high quality posts at Plastic, or does it seem like they're trying to create an instant community for $150?
posted by mathowie (18 comments total)
Wow. Money for trolling. I may have to check out this "Metafilter it's not okay to like" ;)
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:02 PM on February 23, 2001

That really is weird. I can't imagine... good posts will come only through insight/nerdly pride. A better scheme would seem to be rewarding moderators and stuff. Espescially if they weren't too public about it.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:06 PM on February 23, 2001

Matt, how much will you give me for this post?
posted by Doug at 12:14 PM on February 23, 2001

Well, since they're trying to run it as a business, you can't fault them for spending some money to try to make sure it works, can you?

Either way, posts HAVE increased so it seems to be working. Plastic is a good site, it's one of the things we tend to LIKE to see, right? So why do are we spending time tearing it down?

I guess it's cool when Epinions did it, but how dare someone else!
posted by jbeaumont at 12:19 PM on February 23, 2001

Oh a follow up - you win based on your Karma (slashdot style) so it rewards good posts that are moderated up by their users. So it's rewarding community participation.

posted by jbeaumont at 12:22 PM on February 23, 2001

I personally find it kind of repulsive. I was just coming to MeFi to post the story when I saw Matt beat me to the punch. I was going to be a whole lot more brutal about it than he was.

As for the comparison to Epinions, well I don't think there is much of a comparison there. Epinions is mainly a service offered to consumers who are looking for advice on a product they want to purchase. They head to and read up on the product, and the people who have offered their opinion get a little in return, a very little. That seems like a nice little business exchange.

But Plastic is a COMMUNITY site, supposedly. It is a water cooler in the office, a bar on the corner, a hang out. The thought of conversing with people who are trying to say witty or intelligent things in hopes of boosting their Karma so they can win some money just really turns me off.
posted by ericost at 12:32 PM on February 23, 2001

Been watching Plastic from the beginning and it's getting worse, this must be there way of trying to fix it cheaply, but I don't think it will work very well. What started off as a decent idea just feels too.... plastic.
posted by cell divide at 12:37 PM on February 23, 2001

Oh come on Ericost, you're spinning both sites in different ways. How about I use your technique and do the same thing:

Plastic is mainly a weblog like site where you can go if you're looking for links or some discussion. You can head to Plastic, read an article, and post a couple of comments about it, get in a discussion, etc. If you're one of the people who have posted a lot of comments that month, all of which other users have moderated up because they decided that it was a good comment, you get a little bit of money.

But Epinions is a COMMUNITY site, supposedly. It is a water cooler in the office where people talk about their experiences with different products and services. The thought of telling people my opinion of a consumer good just so I can get money really turns me off!
posted by jbeaumont at 12:38 PM on February 23, 2001

Post Payola? Cool, Matt, here ya go:

Amazon Honor SystemClick Here to PayLearn More
posted by Brilliantcrank at 12:39 PM on February 23, 2001

I would like free books and other things also. Moderation points, please?
posted by jon at 12:42 PM on February 23, 2001

And are they going to have people reading over your comments before you get the reward to assure you've made a quality contribution and haven't been pumped up by moderators who don't care all that much?

Case in point: It seems half of the time I visit plastic I get moderation status even though I almost never post, and many a time I'll look for comments that have been tossed to the bottom of the barrel labeled "obnoxious" or "irrelevant" and moderate them back up if I think they're funny.
posted by tomorama at 12:46 PM on February 23, 2001

If you look at history, Slashdot had a ton of posts, and then they introduced karma and moderation, and from what I have seen, number of posts stayed the same, but the quality of posts guttered out. They took a great idea (making it possible to filter out the garbage "first posts"), and took it too far (turning it into a complicated system that does far more than filter out the obvious garbage). Now people sit around on Slashdot and write huge trolls they don't even believe themselves just to trick people and get karma points. I don't even want to imagine how bad it'd be if they PAID people to be karma whores.

Plastic has up until now embraced Slashdot's model wholesale, taking it's popularity and traffic as proof of it's quality. The changes they have made are purely cosmetic, which isn't that surprising since the whole point of Plastic is just to drive traffic to the sites that comprise it. If they actually care about community, they should have launched it with two moderation levels: -1 Garbage and +1 Legitimate. Or at least waited till the site NEEDED moderation and then seen how their needs might be different from what the much huger, differently targeted Slashdot's needs were.

Or who knows, maybe Plastic is just launching this because they know people like us and everyone at Slashdot will read about it and check them out, maybe they're not big gumps and they're actually pretty brilliant trolls.
posted by beefula at 12:49 PM on February 23, 2001

>How about I use your technique and do the same thing:

Well jbeaumont, if you did that I guess you would end up not making a lot of sense.
posted by ericost at 1:00 PM on February 23, 2001

Oh no! Wit! When all else fails!
posted by jbeaumont at 1:02 PM on February 23, 2001

Increase the peace, please. (Score:5, Astute)

I do not see how this fighting will help me get books and snacks and whatnot.

Note my moderation points.
posted by jon at 1:12 PM on February 23, 2001

All I know is that I'd hate to be an editor there right now. The amount of crap stories getting submitted has probably gone through the roof.
posted by fraying at 6:01 PM on February 23, 2001

I think there should be a two-way payment mechanism. If you post well, you will be paid. If your posts are crap, they will charge your credit card (or bank account). (It will require a credit card / bank account to register for the "community" too.)

posted by tamim at 6:53 PM on February 23, 2001

I think it reflects on the kind of people who they are trying to attract there.

To build a business out of a discussion board leaves one no choice but to have loads of people posting links, comments as that would mean more page views and more (so called) ad revenues.

While this is sick, this *IS* life. Look at what slashdot has become. I find the real interesting boards(i hate the word community) come when people who are conversing have similar set of values and passion for something.

That is what makes metafilter , fork and much more interesting than plastic, slashdot or any other such board. That is a choice the board creator makes.
posted by asamee at 9:19 PM on February 23, 2001

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