Sabina and I were talking about points systems on websites, such as Blip.fm
's blips, and whether this created negative social effects. She argued that the existence of such systems prompted users to play it as a game/play purely for points, and also explained to me the secret of getting props and being uber-popular on Blip. I was excited because I thought she was going to reveal to me which bands are the hippest or something, but actually the secret is to reblip the popular and prolific people, and blip a lot yourself, and follow the popular folk. However, what really prompts people to play blip.fm, or another service, as a game?
Is it the appearance of metrics? Yet, LJ also has metrics: comment count, and # of people friending you. I certainly use comments as a metric and believe getting them does measure my 'success' in some manner. Probably blips were created to be a game, to get people to use the site more, rather than as a metric of discerning who is the best blipper. Also, while blips are infinite (because they aren't based on putting $$$ into the system), they are also finite (you don't have unlimited blips to give others directly) and transferrable.
This began to remind me of Alfie Kohn's Punished by Rewards
, which argued that rewarding students causes them to devalue learning itself and simply work for the reward. Extrinsic motivators diminish intrinsic motivators. I've read the book: the research cited is IIRC fairly convincing, although I'm not sure the theories can be implemented in a large scale in schools.
Yet, I don't think the system I was discussing in the last entry ([this is good]) really falls into the category, because it works more like comments, like a very short, pre-made kind of comment, or like a poll result.
Anyway, in other news, I see that DW is planning cross site authenticated RSS reading
. The bug reports says: " you won't need to create a feed account for every account you want to follow. You'll
provide us with your authentication information for the LJ-based site you want
to read the friends page of, and we will take what the protocol returns,
perform magic, and intercut it on your DW reading page." I wonder how this would work... Well, maybe I wouldn't be able to understand it anyhow.