Friday, February 11, 2011

PublicSphere: An idea for an internet company

PublicSphere is part of the global conversation. It's the coffee shop and the pub. The lunch room and the dinner table. It's anywhere you engage in conversation.

You select a twitter tag and are randomly connected with another use via webcam. On the left side of the screen you see the video chat window (think chatroulette); on the right the live twitter feed of the selected tag.

You chat about what you see.

What's appropriate? That's not enforced by us. It's enforced by you, based on the hashtag. This would vary, as it would between the dinner table, lunch room and pub.

Its the PublicSphere. We're civil, we're moderated, but it's on our terms.

Here's how it works: each twitter tag has an associated public chat room. User's can report questionable behaviour to the admins of a particular chat room. They determine what sort of language/behaviour is appropriate for that particular tag.

How are people made admins? That's where things get interesting. Here's a breakdown of the rules:

1) There are two types of users in the chatroom: regs and admins.
2) Anyone who enters a room with no admins is made an admin.
3) Anyone who enters a room with a pre-existing admin is made a reg.
4) Any admin can ban any reg for 24 (48?) hours. She can only do this once per 24 (48?) hours
5) Every admin has to confer admin on another user every 24 (48?) hours or she loses her admin status. She's free to confer more admin status (to a reasonable limit TBD).
6) An admin's 'rank' is equal to the number of her children.
7) A coalition of admins can 'clip' another admin (make her a reg) by if the sum of their ranks is larger than hers.

So to rule a room, you must first infiltrate it. That is, be familiar enough with the opposing arguments to trick them into thinking your one of them. Then when the time is right, you and your coalition strike and overthrow the old regime. But you learn alot about their position in the process.

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