Trust Network

There is now a visual Trust Network live on each user profile page.

More on this to follow :)


  1. Wow. The user pages just got way more colorful.

    First, it reminded me that the feature was even there. I forgot all about it, for a while.

    Second, for me, the jury's still out on whether or not I like the idea or not, honestly. Especially with pictures and such available, this could be potentially one of those slap-each-other-on-the-back kind of deals. So, I'm a little skeptical, and even a little reluctant to use the feature.

    How things turn out and how I perceive them, though, are two completely different things. Let's hope for the best.

  2. Fair points Kamylienne.

    I do think the user pages look a lot better visually, and I think it's sort of neat to see a visual display of your RateItAll Trust Network on your user page.

    The mindset behind this feature, is to let the vast majority of the site's users who DON'T post, get a quick glimpse into the trustworthiness of a reviewer as judged by the community.

    Obviously this will be more relevant for product/movie/business reviews, than "what's your favorite color" reviews.

  3. Interesting feature that I think helps create more visually pleasing user pages aswell as helping the site look more organized and professional. The only thing of concern might be obscene pictures being placed on user pages of reviewers others don't like for the sake of being, well...dumb. Nevertheless, great addition. Much better than just the regular faded yellow with black and blue letters.

  4. Good point Mr. Political... the risk of obscene pictures crossed my mind as well. We'll have to keep an eye on that.

  5. Utterly meaningless. A simple check mark that indicates what exactly? Trust the user for what? To leave a good review? To stroke an ego? It is quite ironic the site uses such a meaningless item and refers to it as a "trust network". All from a site that will take a users lists and "orphan" them. And on the new weblist pages actually takes credit for creating them. No, it doesn't say the weblist was "orphaned" on such and such date or more accurately that the site stole them on such and such a date. The pages say they were created by weblister on sucj and such a date. RIA users should sit back and really assess just what the "trust" check mark really means. Anyone who thinks it means anything seems rather naive.

    More importantly they should assess the degree of trust they should have in a site that will not allow users to delete their own comments. Delete their own lists. Delete user comments on their lists. Users can add any content to the site. But removing that content is a no no. Trust. An interesting word. But how much trust can there be when a user can add many things but is forbidden to delete anything?

    And it is indeed a slap each other on the back deal. It is as close to assessing trustworthiness as the site is to actually offering user freedom.

  6. Don't see the point of this feature, as the ideas of "trust" and "opinion" have nothing to do with one another (like "giraffe" and "poker").

    What happens when a "trusted" someone leaves a post that someone within a given network doesn't like? Will we see posters booting other posters out of networks? How many "bad" posts will it take before someone gets the boot? Will this cause a cascade of sentiment throughout other networks? Seems like an ideal way to either victimize or homogenize. Count me out.

    Oh, and how's about a "disabling" option for those of us who didn't want or ask for this "upgrade"? Thanks to the added architecture of big-ass, do-little JPEGs, my user page loads even slower than it used to.

  7. Thanks for the feedback Traderboy.

    Couple of comments:

    - as currently instituted on the site, I agree that the Trust Network functionality has zero value for regular RateItAll users.

    But what you are seeing is a tiny step towards RateItAll being able to offer customized ratings and review results for EVERY member of the community. The vision is that by leveraging the power of personal networks, any member of the RIA community will be able to filter out the opinions of those who do not have at least some trust connnection to them. This ability to customize your view of the ratings data, will make RateItAll a more helpful tool in getting recommendations for anything covered on the site (tv, movies, books, products, stores, people, entertainers, politics, bands, web sites, newspapers, dog food, dog breeds, politicians, etc, etc, etc.)

    Before this can happen, several things need to take place:

    - RateItAll needs to grow, and extend out beyond a core group of regular users. This is already happening, and it's happening dramatically.
    - The site's emphasis on "Helpful Votes" as the sole measure of reputation needs to go away (more on this to follow). To put it bluntly, the helpful button is broken as a value add to the site, and has been for a while.
    - Tools need to be added to allow RateItAll members to easily add people they trust IN REAL LIFE to their RIA networks.
    - Filters need to be added to every ratings list and item page, that allows registered users to isolate the ratings and reviews of those reviewers within N (1? 2? 3?) degrees of their trusted network.

    One other clarification - the network of pictures that you see on your user page is NOT your Trusted Network. This is only a summary of the people that trust you. Your Trusted Network is the people that YOU trust. Only you can decide who belongs in your trust network. My advice is to think about it in terms of recommendations - if this person recommends something to you ( a book, a movie, a place, a tv show, a person, a song, a band, etc.), will you take their recommendation seriously?

    Finally, we are looking into ways to allow folks to disable the images on their user page to deal with this page load time issue. Stay tuned.

    As always, thanks for all of the comments. I'm very excited about this functionality - not by what it can do today (which is pretty much squat), but what it will be able to enable in the future. Bear with me on this one :)