Thesis Update

So finally I want to create a crowd-sourced social platform to quantify city of Delhi. The goal is to develop a digital assistant that can help a person navigate and discover various aspects of the city while traveling from one point to another.

5 important Pillars of the Platform that I think are important to make the whole city participate:
Content and UX:

1. Quality content.

This is important when we are crowdsourcing yelp like data. There must be a critical mass of enthusiasts, contributing content that is high quality, trusted, and vetted. This type of quality information must take precedence in the system. Wikipedia and StackOverflow do a really good job here, mainly by tasking community leaders to take responsibility of moderation and accuracy.

However, I also believe that people want to know what their friends think, so that information has a place in the system as well (still trying to figure this one out). Random comments/facts by the general public have little place in the system.

2. Easy to Find – Participating, Votes and Social Sharing.

photo 2 (2) photo 1 (2)

This is also critical. One of my favorite aspects about StackOverflow/yelp is how easy it is to find the information that I want to know. I simply Google it and 9 times out of 10 come away with the information I need.

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 11.58.13 AM Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 11.57.26 AM

To make it easy for people to find the best information for each place, there is a “vote up” system that allows the best content to bubble up to the top. Users should also be able to easily share content they like on social networks.

3. Moderation/Accuracy/ update

We need to ensure that the information that is posted is interesting, useful, and accurate. I will never be able to moderate all this on my own, but by recruiting every week a new curator/ managers from Delhi we can together keep the system well-moderated and full of trusted information. Possibly  users will be able to suggest edits to information they believe to be incorrect thought comment system. I have been following @wearenewdelhi ( They have new curator for this twitter account every week and its very interesting format to keep the audience interested and  share something new every week.

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I am planning to use instagram feeds for validity of data and its API keeps a feed for a week or so and then it  gets updated. I might store the data in my server for upto 3months and then will trash the whole thing.

(I need to think more about moderation rules.)

4. Reputation.

A key part of all these types of platforms is that users tend to be more active and engaged when their activity is tied to real time alerts and usage. The more quality information someone contributes, the more heightened their reputation should be on the system. This should be very public and it should be easy to tell who are the most trusted and active users.

5. Tags + Filters.

One of the things I hate about facebook is  the lack of tags and filtering. One of the things I love about StackOverflow and Quora is how easy it is to follow tags and filter down to what you actually want to see (for example: “node.js” “technology” “design” “css3 tricks” etc.).

As part of a later stage in this project, I want to implement a tagging system. That way, communities of like-minded people can find each other through tags like “coffee” “movie” “shopping”  etc. Users should be able to follow a tag so that they can see new information in that specific topic.

Research + Inspiration

This week, I looked at many different platforms that I personally use to get more information about things. I will talk about each one, how it’s useful, and what I take away for my own project.

Google Maps: Love it. Both on the go and on the desktop browser. Quality stuff (obviously).

Key features include: Awesome Data base.  Fact-based. Requires sources.  (I will be using their API)

Foursquare: I hardly use it. But I have seen my friends use it a lot. I have heard people creating their own places and playing around the app. Seems like they have fixed that issue.

Key features include: Fact-based. Ability to edit, Very easy to find what you’re looking for, Ability to easily tag oneself, Socially connected

StackOverflow: Love this platform. They focus on experts giving programming answers. You can almost always be sure the information is trusted and vetted, mainly because there is a very strong community that makes sure of it.

Key features include: Strong moderation, Ability to edit/verify others’ answers, Very easy to find what you’re looking for (great SEO + tags/filtering)

Expert concentration.

They don’t launch in a topic until they have a large-enough community of experts.
Wikipedia: Same deal. An amazing community of writers and editors helps source and curate information for the benefit of the world.

Key features include: Fact-based. Requires sources. Strong moderation. Ability to edit/verify others’ answers, Very easy to find what you’re looking for (great SEO + tags/filtering)



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