Tagreputation

Can you trust the information in Wikipedia? Wikitrust tells you.

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A very interesting project going by the name Wikitrust (part of the Wikipedia Quality Initiative) analyzes if information on Wikipedia is trustworthy. In order to do this, Wikitrust computes both the authors’ and the individuals words’ trustworthiness. The more contributions an author made and the more edits they survive, the better; in case of words, the more edits they survive the higher they score:

  • First, we compute the reputation of each author by analyzing the author’s contributions. When an author makes a contribution that is preserved in subsequent edits, the author gains reputation. When an author makes a contribution that is undone or reverted quickly, the author loses reputation.
  • The trust value of a new word is proportional to the reputation of its author. When subsequent authors edit the page, words that are left unchanged gain trust: by leaving them there, the authors implicitly agree with them. Words closer to the edit gain more trust, as the author of the edit is likely to have paid more attention to them. In contrast, text that has been rearranged (new text, text at the border of cut-and-paste, etc) has again a reputation proportional to the author of the edit.

Information that seems questionable is marked in different shades of orange. The screenshot shows a strongly opinionated Wikipedia article about Italian cuisine (and how it allegedly compares to French cuisine). Note how the (insulting) opinionated parts are marked dark orange:

Screenshot: Wikitrust

More info on the WikiTrust Blog. This way of rating Wikipedia information based on the authors’ and the words’ credibility seems like it might work. What do you think?

(via Planblog / Tim Bonnemann)

Ameritocracy: Collaborative Fact-Checking

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AmeritocracyIf there’s one thing the internet is pretty good at, then it must be crunching lots of info by having a lot of folks look at said info. Call it crowdsourcing or collaboration, if you need a great many eyes to look at stuff, and a lot of opinions, the web is the place to go. So here comes Ameritocracy, a community-based, collaborative fact-checking site.

How does it work? Users submit statements made by politicians, pundits and the like, other users (aka the community) puts in their two cents of background or opinion (hopefully facts, too) they have on those statements. A reputation system helps separate the wheat from the chaff.

As Ameritocracy describe it:

The core features of Ameritocracy are adding statements (made by a person or organization) and assessing statements. For example, if you hear Jane Doe say something on tv that you find questionable, you can submit that statement to the site to see what the community has to say about it, or you can add your own assessment. Members can then rate Jane Doe’s statement for credibility and relevancy, add their own assessments, or post a comment. From this, Jane Doe will develop a reputation based on the community ratings, and you and your sources will develop a positive reputation so long as no one identifies your submission as a misquote or deliberately inaccurate information. The goal is to get a few different perspectives for each statement, so anyone looking to know more about a statement can get a broader picture and make their own assessment.

Sounds like a solid plan to me. Any platform that helps bring more transparency into political processes can just be good. If it harnesses the intelligence of the network, all the better.

More info? IPDI‘s Julie Germany interviewed Ameritocracy co-founder Porter Bayne. The team behind Ameritocracy blogs and twitters, too.

(via Planblog)

Update: Want to check out Ameritocracy first hand? The Ameritrocracy team was so nice to provide my readers with a bunch of invites to the close beta. With the invite code “wavingcat” (one word, all lower case) you can sign up here.

Yahoo releases Reputation Design Patterns (Yay!)

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Yahoo’s Design Pattern Library is a pretty awesome collection of design patterns – proven solutions for common or well-known problems. The idea is to provide answers to questions people (here: developers) encounter over and over again. Why reinvent the wheel?

Now there’s a whole set of design patterns for a reputation system, as well as some solid basics on online reputation and how it works. (You can find some thoughts about online reputation browsing this blog’s Identity 2.0 category.)

Yahoo Design Patterns for a Reputation System (Image: Screenshot of the collection Yahoo! Reputation Solution Patterns)

Reputation systems are important for online communities of all sizes: In a really small community, reputation might be implicit, but as the community grows, reputation needs to be managed in some way or another. Says the Online Journalism Blog:

In my experience, reputation systems are pretty important in encouraging users to keep coming back to your online community – you could argue, for instance, that the number of friends in Facebook or followers in Twitter is one simple example. Plurk more explicitly uses ‘karma’, as does (in a much better way) Slashdot

Yahoo says, this set of reputation-related design patterns is just one of “several collections of social-design related patterns that we’re working on. (…) They don’t tell you how to lay out a page or where to put an interactive widget. Instead, they address how to design a reputation system for your social software.”

This is excellent news: With something as tricky (and important) as your online reputation, you want some professional advice!

(via Online Journalism Blog, thanks Puja!)