Data-Driven Gamification
Critical to the Hypothesis experience is a user’s ability to extract value from the good work they do on the platform. With traditional social media, this feedback is—as its name implies—social, meaning it comes from one’s own network. Whether in pursuit of likes or comments or retweets or subscriptions, a user depends on their ability and desire to foster or join a community in order to build social capital. In rare cases, this can lead to tangible financial gain or make available previously out-of-reach opportunities, but for the majority of participants in these systems, the feedback is confined to one's immediate circle. Indeed, most people are unlikely to strive for anything more than this, but Hypothesis seizes an opportunity to redefine the relationship between platform and user, offering a new, truly valuable type of feedback that places little stake in one’s popularity.
Instead, Hypothesis’ style of gamification generates value based primarily on the individual effort of the user, representing not only one’s ability to predict the future, but more fully their intrinsic relationship with information: the depth with which they are likely to comprehend it, their ability to infer outcomes based on abstract signals, and the extent to which they are able to form connections between seemingly-disparate data points. Based on the layers of input built on top of it, Foresight can represent all of these things in a single number. Simply put, it is intuition quantified.
Similarly, a publisher's Usefulness represents a culmination of user-generated input returned in the form of an accountability structure that builds trust and incentivizes more responsible publishing practices. The gamification strategies in Hypothesis are meant to be efficient and minimally distracting, combining gratification and growth with precision, and do not fool the user into spending their time wastefully.
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