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Peter Merel

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An open, facebook-integrated instant global democracy

As of today, the world's first truly open facebook-integrated global instant democracy is a reality. Unlike other voting systems online - reddit and ted.com comments etc. - it's not about voting on the opinions. It's about voting on their subjects.

Why are subjects important? Because for the first time we can actually say what someone's opinion is really about. And group votes for or against those subjects. It makes no sense to vote for a hashtag but voting for or against subjects that share hashtags makes a race - and a whole new kind of democracy.

This kind of democracy is a Facebook game that turns voting into a social act. When people go into some dark room and pull a lever or press a button you've got all that BS about hanging chads and who watches the watchmen and lobbyism and so on. But when everyone's opinions on every subject are open and public - when everyone's votes can be counted by everyone - that's a democracy you can trust.

Right now this is alpha software, brand spanking new, without a lot of important content. But if you care about democracy, if you can stand up for or against something - if something really matters to you from cafeteria lunches to the way your taxes are spent - this new way to argue and win or lose an argument is the way forward.

We waste opinions all over the internet - they can't count if we don't count them. But try http://www.doshmosh.com and speak your mind. Pick a side. Make a choice. Take a stand. Connect to the people who feel the same way you do - take power back from the bureaucrats and share it with the people you trust - your friends.

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Closing Statement from Peter Merel

The feedback here has been very helpful. In particular Pavlin Angelov's criticism of the funding model has caused us to rethink it. We're moving it to become more in line with the Google Adsense/Adwords model. Thanks to everyone for your comments.

If you'd like to learn more there's a deeper and saltier discussion of the way DoshMosh works at http://dudespaper.com/dudeism-the-first-religion-with-a-moshpit.html/ .

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  • Oct 10 2012: The problem with your idea is that at the moment your "site"/"game" is just for making money.
    1$ for 100 votes and if i really like or don't like something i can vote as much as i want ... witch is insane at the end only the person with more votes in his "wallet" will win, not very democratic for me, but just plane Capitalistic.

    The idea is not bad, but the realization is wrong, i hate when some people try to make money out of an such ideas.

    If you don't allow equal rights to all users there is no Democracy to speak of just plane Greed
    • Oct 10 2012: Hi Pavlin,

      First, you're quite correct.

      Obviously in a democracy there must be some limitation of franchise or else you get a situation like American Idol where people vote thousands of times an hour.

      We've considered quite a few different limitation models for DoshMosh and put up the simplest one to play with in the alpha release. The notion is that each user can use a limited number of votes per day for free - currently 10. If they run out they can come back the next day and use another 10. A 24 hour delay for a reward is a game dynamic that has served Zynga very well so this seems reasonable on its face.

      Now the text about paying for votes that you're referring to is on the "Subscribe" page in the app, and I believe you're right in saying it's a bit insane. The idea was to offer a kind of freemium service where, if someone uses up their daily allotment of free votes, and they don't want to wait 24 hours, they can get an extra bundle of votes in a monthly subscription.

      Reflecting on your remarks, however, I agree this will throttle the system as a democratic mechanism. A freemium should be based on value add, not gated service, which has obviously disproved itself in the case of online newspapers. And anyway in alpha we're really not worried about monetization at all.

      So we're going to kill subscription for now and just keep the 24-hour delay model and bonus votes. Might bump up the vote limit too - if you have a suggestion on that I'd be very interested.

      Thanks for the feedback!

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