Websites/apps which I want to exist

Some of these probably already exist, some may make good projects for readers, some would be huge projects.

Crowd prioritization

I’d like a public to-do list where I could post outlines for blog posts or other small projects which allows other people to vote or comment on them (facebook or G+ accounts). Knowing someone’s interested in an idea is great motivation, and an outline is quick to make.

Tribal dictionary

Translates terms and references used by one subculture into those used by another. Wiki style, with more oversight and categorization than urbandictionary. Possibly could be done on Arbital?

Awesome newsfeed

Collects from any source (RSS+scrapes things without RSS like FB), learns your interests based on reactions, gives you content based on popularity among people with a similar interests profile to you. Ideally has highly customizable filters for advanced users. Freemium model, with the free version being actually good enough to use comfortably so people feel okay about recommending it to their friends and you get network effects (but notable improvements on paid in terms of # follows,detail of personal interests profile, and ability to add blogs the site does not already know about).

Closest I know:
https://newsblur.com/ – No adding new sites (I think?)
https://flowreader.com/Removed FB support, no good prioritization

Shared playlist app

A system which allows people in physical proximity to a phone to add new songs to a playlist and upvote (move closer to top) songs which are already on the playlist. Great for parties as an alternative to dictatorship (someone makes a playlist and others have little input) or anarchy (whoever wants can change the song at will, often interrupting songs or putting on music the group does not particularly like), allows the less confident to suggest songs in a less public/forceful way.

Less rewarding clones to remove minigame addiction

Lots of people acquire an addiction to various small games which are well designed to trigger short-term psychological rewards (e.g. flappy bird, 2048, farmville), even though I imagine many of them would on consideration find that they don’t really enjoy or get anything out of the games. I had an experience where my 2048 addiction was almost entirely removed by playing a modified version (http://joezeng.github.io/144/) made by a friend which had similar structure and cues for association, but did not give the same rewards and required more thinking. While playing 144 I did not feel a pull to switch to 2048, the monkey part of my brain felt like it was playing 2048, but it quickly learned that this was no longer a game which gave strong reinforcement so stopped wanting it.

If this could be generalized, copying structure and visual cues so it feels to your brain like the same game while interrupting the rewards to train your brain to not seek out that kind of game, it could save a huge amount of time, possibly high-impact time.

Pros: Could be mostly made part by part as programming exercises (find a place where people are doing programming exercises on the scale of small games already, see if they want to make this kind of game), potential significant social benefit, if sell-able as apps monetizable, the kind of thing that could easily get media attention if it works somewhat reliably

Cons: Addictive game makers would hate it and use their copyrights, parody would be a possible protectionhttp://gamedevlaw.org/2015/03/26/on-the-trail-to-parody/ but legal hassles are likely. My experience may have been atypical, others may not find the associations correct or may switch back to the original.

This gives a great foundation / PR for…..

A platform which gives structured self-improvement advice / feedback, whatever issues you’re having

(disorganized / from a chat log)

once you’ve fixed this part of your life, why not answer a few questions about your life?

we’ll link you to resources which have a proven track record of helping others with a similar profile

(don’t make your own resources to start with, way too much work. find great existing ones.)

i have a few hours worth of plans for how to make it work, and i bet you could get a few people in that memespace interested

(as in, they’d be happy to find resources for you, and generate hypotheses about things that may help people with certain classes of problem)

self-improvement has this massive problem with directing people to the things which are relevant to them, because there are so many different problems and psych profiles

so it’s often hyper-general

which is okay for people who just need to do basic stuff to get on track

but people with specific problems have to put in a lot of work to find something which addresses the issue they have

the for the second key is de-optimizing the reward loop, i think? most of the really addictive games are at a peak

just changing some of the mechanics subtly would often work

the people stop playing and you’re done thing is an issue, but it should be thought of as PR for the other business rather than the whole thing

you give people one success, then try to throw them into a spiral

I think the second part would potentially be super valuable, and would be happy to spend a few hours explaining my models of how the thing would work.

i think the activation energy of self-improvement is just way too high for most people

especially if they don’t know what they need, or even the terms for the problems they have

this is compounded by the fact that the people who need it most have the least spare cognitive / motivational energy

a one-stop-shop which guides you to whatever it seems you need seems maybe great, and is relatively cheap if you rely on external stuff

https://alexvermeer.com/life-hacking/ is cool as an example resource

one bit to expand on: there are a lot of people who dislike video games, and would grab a chance to promote something which feels on their side. getting a burst of attention would be unusually easy with this, if it works.

 

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