Hey Loc, some great points here. I understand you’re expressing the desire to have an educated group, in your mind current Blockstack users, be the one that determines their quality and thus ranking. Very much agreed about having knowledgeable and qualified App Reviewers, but I respectfully disagree with the notion that only the opinion of current Blockstack users is important. I think we all want to see Blockstack apps become widely adopted so having a satisfactory representation of the ‘rest of the world’ reflected, at least in part, in the App Mining score is critical and beneficial.
As described in the post about how the scoring works, Product Hunt scoring is done in part by their actual team, who have Blockstack IDs and try out the dapps. They are here to assess with their product expert hat on and determine if this particular dapp has promise based on their expertise and the trends that they see. They’ve had over 100,000 products come across their platform and know apps better than almost anyone. Yes, the public upvotes from people who may not be Blockstack users does play a role in the score, but that’s for a reason as well; it’s there to encourage behavior that apps need to do to be successful, which is to consider and hone the way they communicate their value proposition and improve user experience.
It’s important for dapp makers to consider the reputation and perception of their dapp to potential users as well as current users if they want to be successful and grow beyond a niche group. Feedback from the rest of the world is something to at least consider as dapp creators try to build a sustainable business to support their efforts – the Product Hunt community and team represents that for now. You can think of it more like a focus group for a TV show, a bunch of new potential viewers are shown a clip, they haven’t really seen the show or know everything about it, but their response is incredibly important in learning how to position the show and determining the potential market viability.
As for fraud, Product Hunt and Democracy Earth both have robust systems for preventing the gaming of the upvote system and assuring that their daily and ongoing rankings are too difficult to be bought or manipulated, these are not designed to ensure everyone has a Blockstack ID nor would we want them to be at least for now. Again, we want to include (to some level) the perspective of these educated, potential future users because it’s valuable for dapp creators to consider as they try to grow.
A note about App Reviewers revealing their scoring details: Everyone knows what they need to do to be successful with SEO without knowing the exact formula, similarly it’s not completely necessary to have App Reviewers give out all the details in their formula to establish fairness and transparency. We’ll work hard on getting this to be as useful and transparent as possible for the pilot run in December and going forward. In the future, there is the intention of holding elections where the community can decide which App Reviewers are doing the ranking. This means if the community decided scores must be 100% transparent, App Reviewers that do not do this can be voted out.
Loc, these are awesome questions and thoughts, seriously, you’ve picked right up on a lot of the core issues that we thought really hard about in designing this iteration of App Mining. This is an evolving program and one that will continue to have opportunity for improvement thanks to people like you assessing it honestly and sharing with everyone. Thank you!