Finding worthwhile information on the Internet can be tough, especially if you don’t really know where to look. Short of research training though, most people have to rely on what search engines or social media networks offer up when they want to find information about a topic. A new Dutch startup, DOT.world, wants to help make that searching easier. DOT.world is developing a “platform of platforms” approach to information management.
What it comes down to is this: anyone can start a subdomain for, say, sports, and then people who use that subdomain can share and rate pages and sites. Eventually, as people rate these sites, the cream will rise to the top. There are free versions of the sites where anyone can visit and rate. But there are also private versions geared toward businesses and other organizations where only permitted users can suggest and rate sites.
On the face of it, this platform doesn’t sound much different than the Internet already is. Between hashtags, Google search algorithms, user reviews, or sharing on social media, the bulk of the Internet is already working on a “cream rises to the top” model. But that system is broken because, well, it’s easy to rig that system. Orchestrated campaigns by, say, the Internet based hate group GamerGate can easily make one YouTube video seem popular, or trash the reviews on a game made by somebody they don’t like.
How does DOT.world plan to address this? It seems like for the free subdomains, they can’t, and for that reason they don’t sound particularly useful. For the paid domains however, you can be sure that the people who are sharing and rating pages actually know what they’re doing and care about the content. But then how is it any different than say, a spreadsheet filled with links? Kudos to them for trying to make the Internet more navigable, but whether or not the system will actually work all that well remains to be seen.