[MUD-Dev] Re: MUD-Dev digest, Vol 1 #231 - 4 msgs

Dr. Cat cat at realtime.net
Fri Nov 10 12:25:27 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

> From: "Koster, Raph" <rkoster at verant.com>
> Subject: RE: [MUD-Dev] integrated character webpages ala Black and White c
> reature pages
> As far as putting up stories--there is a very large concern with
> user-generated content and liability there, even for hobbyist muds. It's
> very easy for this to outpace your ability to vet the submitted content,
> leading to your website hosting material that you may well not want on
> there.

I'm still convinced that user-generated content is the future of almost
everything, and I'm glad to see there that major multi-national
corporations still feel there are strong reasons to be cautious about it.
But ten years ago we had Rusty & Edie's BBS, and more recently Geocities
et. al.  Given that reviewing before posting doesn't scale, I think the
only practical approach is "post everything instantly, review content only
when there's a complaint, and if it's determined to violate your policies,
take it down".  Falling into the "review some material" category, this is
clearly less costly than "review all material".  And if not one single
person has bothered to complain about some particular page, how big a
problem is it really?

Obviously too much for companies like Disney or Sony, that would prefer
their reputations to remain free even from blemishes so small they're
below the "complain to the company" threshhold.  That's fine, please go on
feeling that way big corporations.  Don't adapt my suggested approach and
crush the life out of my best opportunity to become a billionaire like a
tiny insect beneath the heel of the Colossus of Rhodes.  I would kind of
like to be a billionaire.  I'd make this a more interesting world, I
promise you that!

Mind, I think I could manage to make the world a lot more interesting with
just a few million.  I know how to use money more efficiently than a lot
of the maniacs out there.

Allow users to post all content, and review only when there's a complaint.
That's a correct 21st century information age kind of approach.
Refinements include mechanisms to allow users to have areas where they
volunteer to vet content for each other, for those that prefer cleaner or
"safer" content.  (What you're safer FROM, and in more danger of, depends
on who is "sanitizing" the content and with what agenda.)  Further
refinements to the refinements consist of allowing multiple users (anyone
that wants to, in the extreme case) to layer on top of a given content
area their own pre- or post- moderation info, with each user able to
choose which moderators they want to "subscribe" to, or none at all for an
unfiltered feed.  Also various consensus-based rating mechanisms,
with multiple users "voting" or otherwise rating materials based on
quality as well as content.  A simplistic system would just average all
user ratings, a more sophisticated one could weight each user's input
based on "reputation" values, which could be determined by other user's
ratings of their postings in a recursive Google-like fashion or by other
means, or a reader's ratings could be weighted more towards that of
other readers who'd shown similar tastes, in a Firefly-like fashion
(perhaps a better known example now is Amazon's recommendation system,
though I don't know if it's as elaborate as Firefly).  Of course some of
this stuff doesn't begin to produce usable results UNTIL you start to
scale huge and have a large enough statistical base of stuff to draw on.

But like I said, I hope the big companies will keep their heads in the
sand for a few more years at least.  Give me a few million dollars and a
place to stand, and I can move the earth.  I watch Verant commit virtual
homicide upon one of their own customers for writing a story on someone
else's turf, and I laugh like a mad hyena in the night.  My time will

   Dr. Cat / Dragon's Eye Productions       ||       Free alpha test:
*-------------------------------------------**   http://www.furcadia.com
    Furcadia - a graphic mud for PCs!       ||  Let your imagination soar!

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