Janette Toral sharing her tourist experience in Australia.

Friday 14 March 2008

Ximmy: Deliberate Vote Solicitation, Photo Copyright Acknowledgment, Dead Links

A social media site that I got the chance to join lately is Ximmy. Its only difference with huge sites like Digg is that active users can earn reward points.

For now users get the following:
  • 1 point for every story submitted
  • 1 point for every story commented
  • 15 points when a story gets to the front page (for now, 5 votes is what it takes to get there)
Earnings are dependent on points
  • $10 for 1000 points
  • $20 for 1800 points
  • $40 for 3200 points
  • $80 for 6000 points
  • $160 for 12000 points
  • $300 for 20000 points
  • If the user joined the affiliate program, they can also get US$0.50 for every person invited to register.
Like any income generating site, it can be open to abuse from users who only intend to make a quick profit from the site. There were issues like:
  • Clear guidelines for photo submission
    There are a lot of Ximmy users who submit photos but usually lacking of info. Photo submissions should always include most of the following:

    1. Source - Where did you get the photo?
    2. Photographer - Name of person or entity who owns the photo credits.
    3. Date - When was this photo taken? (if information is available)
    4. Location - Where was this photo taken?
    5. Story - What is the photo all about?
    6. Significance - Why are you sharing it? What makes it worth noting by users in the Ximmy community?

    I personally believe that people who don't share the above information are treating photos they submitted unfairly. At the same time, waste website resources and user's time. What's worst, some photos with a few words (or same title and summary) get 5 votes straight away that doesn't show much rational as to why they are being voted for.

  • Deliberate "Vote" Solicitation
    There are postings in Ximmy lately where users directly add the word "Vote" or the phrase "Vote for this" in their submission. In major submission networks, this style normally results to criticism from users.

    However in Ximmy, some users do vote and it is a way of giving back to those who voted for them.

    In my opinion, using of the word "vote" in any submission encouraging other users to do such should not be allowed. Ximmy has no clear policy on this one at the moment and it is pretty much left to the community. For now, I don't vote any post that deliberately seeks for a vote as that posting style may set as a bad example to fellow members.

  • Dead Links in Ximmy
    There are a lot of interesting articles in Ximmy that once reached more than x number of days (usually 30), they disappear. One site that removes its great articles after x number of days is Yahoo News.

    With this trend, Ximmy should start considering blocking sites from being submitted in its system or else it will be filled with news from a specific site that will no longer be accessible after a month. Worst, Ximmy is even paying for it as they compensate through reward points in submission, comments, and popularity. Unless of course, Ximmy manually clicks on submissions being claimed for rewards if they are accessible or not.
For now, to encourage quality submission, Ximmy limits submission up to 10 a day. It also deletes spam, non-constructive, and irrelevant comments. This is a good start until policies are fine-tuned.

I think Ximmy has a lot of potential. If more users will join the system, the quality of submission and vigilant users can increase in the long run.