One man's +1 is another man's -1

Posted on November 1, 2011

(This was posted as a comment in a discussion about the redesigned Google Reader on G+)

I’ve been mulling this idea for a long time. In one line:

One man’s +1 is another man’s -1

When reddit became popular, the biggest frustration for me was the abundance of kittens. (Don’t get me wrong, I love kittens, I just come to reddit for other things.) Now, if I consistently downvote kittens, then the system should be able to determine that my taste is opposite to the users who consistently upvote them, and count their upvotes as if they where downvotes, when creating the display for me. Conversely, my downvote will be counted as upvote in relation to those people.

This way, people with opposite tastes will help produce better experience for each other, instead of disrupting it like they do in all current rating-based systems.

Next step will be automatic grouping of people with similar tastes. Friend suggestions based on actual personal qualities instead of incidental features of the social graph, isn’t it fascinating?

Of course, for this idea to work, there needs to be a -1 button like on reddit. Google ±, anyone?

Update Aug 3 2013: nice illustration!