TheMapOfAllMaps.com. A map everybody can add things to in various categories. There are already sites that list water fountains, public toilets, public parks, flat penny machines, giant concrete arrows, etc. These are all places on a map, so why not do it all in one place. Communities, no matter how niche or mainstream can make use of it and see what other communities have located. OpenStreetMap, Wikimapia to serve as basis. Anyone can start a category. One thing can belong to multiple categories. Some things that move or end only stay on the map for a certain time, like a red carpet premiere of a movie or a nice car parked somewhere. It would be a map that adds an element of time - events not just places, there for just a limited amount of time. Not just what is happening right now and where, but also what is about to be happening – you can browse the future if you want. A nice car parked somewhere would belong in the category Nice Cars, but also the category Interesting Things to See, and the category Instagram Photo Ops. In creating a point on the map, you can just describe what is there, take a picture or find a picture that matches it from an image search. Example of category - Seats of Power, would include the Reichstag in Berlin, the Duma in Moscow, the Capitol and the White House in Washington. Another, grim example – Famous Assassination Locations. It could be enlightening to zoom out to a national or global level and see any hotspots, as well as correlations between objects in the various categories.
RedLightGreenLight.com. A chat where you can talk as long as you want and during that time your partner cannot say anything. Then when you’re done, you click the switch and then they get to talk and you don’t get to until they say so. The reasoning is that thought processes don’t really mesh; even when you’re listening to someone talk, you have your own internal monologue going on in your head, often clashing with, overwriting or being overwritten by what they’re saying. Being forced to be silent until the other person is done will force you to pay way more attention to what they’re saying instead of the voice in your head. A good practice would also be to keep rereading what they have said so far until you get the green light so keep reading twice, three times, four times, ten times. A yellow light could potentially be added for when you want to indicate “I’m almost done.”
UndercoverCorporate.com. A place where people who work at big companies that put out consumer products can directly talk to the people who buy those products and get their insight and feedback. The level of a disclosure of who you are can vary according to your purposes and corporate limitations - you can say “I’m a UI designer at Apple,” or just “I’m a designer at a big tech company that makes consumer products” or you can just say “I work at a big company,” or not even that and just be another undifferentiated user. The users of the site will have reputation points for giving good insight and having good understanding of things. You can also personally grade users by reading their comments and posts in different threads and then contacting them asking for specific feedback if you like what they been saying. A cool thing would be that you can a talk to people from other big companies who are also undercover.
WatchMeGo.com. A site where people compete and show off by doing tasks in the shortest possible time or within a certain time limit on video or screencast. Drinking ten bottles of water, writing an essay, solving a math problem, starting a company. You can do it recorded to get a lot of tries or live for pressure and spectacle. Anyone can start a new record category. The only rule is that once started the video can’t be paused or spliced. It has to go on from the moment you begin to the moment you finish with no interruptions. One way of potential revenue is to have a daily sponsor sponsoring a challenge with a reward. For example, Cheetos can pay us $5000, with 90% of it ($4500) going to whoever builds the tallest tower of Cheetos in ten minutes. A positive effect of such a website will be that people once they realize how deadlines come and go would push themselves to actually accomplish stuff instead of just sitting around. Don’t worry about it being perfect, worry about it being done. It would make working under pressure fun and train you how to do it without stressing.
MisfitCareerPaths.com – A site where people who are “black sheep” and don’t really fit into society and don’t have a clear up life trajectory can talk to each other and be scouted and recruited by people who need people like that. Success is very dependent on fitting in and being hard working. That makes people who are non-conformist, lazy, elderly, have a mental illness, a disfigurement, or a bunch of other factors unable to get a good career. One method could be interviewing by text only, not knowing the candidate’s age, gender, race, nationality, etc. A recruiter would have to specify what is truly necessary for completing the tasks entailed in the job and then look for those qualities (or if really necessary, qualifications) in the chat conversations with the candidates. Any prejudices and biases, either negative or positive, would be limited in that way. Recruiters can post job offers but also search through the database of candidates for someone suitable. Candidates would list their strengths and weaknesses, really actually their weaknesses instead of something superficial. For example, “Gets disinterested easily because of constant need for novelty” would disqualify you from a lot of standard jobs, but might make uniquely qualified for something that offers plenty of variety because then your job would be something you really love and you would be likely to do it perfectly.
TheCommunityComputer.com – A fresh installation of Windows or Linux Mint on a high performance machine with plentiful storage space whose desktop is livecast 24/7. Anyone who signs up, depending on the time they did it and the time they’re awake and free, gets to control the computer for a 10 minute window. Browsing the Internet, saving files, creating files, editing files, reorganizing files and directories, installing programs, playing games. Emergent phenomena will be plentiful and various. The entire video stream from the beginning to the current point can be browsed at will and played back at various speeds. Anybody can start their own offshoot at X.thecommunitycomputer.com with another machine and any specific rules they decree. Anyone would be able to make their existing computer – with all its files and programs – accessible and controllable to the rotating or a specific user or users. It would be well advised to make sure the computer doesn’t contain any personal or sensitive data.
ILoveThatAd.com – A site and engine that allows you to select topics, imagery, locations, activities, etc, etc that you enjoy and want to see more of. Then it serves you ads across all the platforms you use that contain that stuff. You decide how much or how little preference information you give it. Even one single thing you tell it would be enough for it to work perfectly. You can just tell it, “I love seeing sexy men.” Then, using artificial intelligence, it would go through all the videos and images by all the advertisers in its pool, find all the sexy men in them, show you the ads that contain them and charge the advertisers for showing you those ads. Whatever the product, you wouldn’t be annoyed by the ads and would be welcoming them because you would be seeing something you like. Sexy men everywhere all the time. And it could be nice cars, wild landscapes, flowers, or any combination of those. You can even personally train a neural network on the kind of imagery you like and have it show up in all the ads you see. If you want to go beyond pure imagery and see things that are relevant to you in other ways, you can name topics, like gadgets or make-up, or where you stay or are going, like Dallas, Texas. Ad preferences can be very personally revealing so you would be anonymous in providing them. If for example Facebook or YouTube were to implement the system on their platforms, they would have no idea what ads you’re looking at. Your browser would report to us where you saw the ad and we would pay that place a 90% portion of the proceeds because you were browsing their content when you encountered the ad.
TranscriptionByRepetition.com. A place where you earn money by hearing short clips of speech and repeating what you just heard. AI can recognize speech with a good degree of accuracy but humans can recognize it much better. Giving it more samples of the same words being uttered by different people would allow it to cross-check the resulting transcriptions and see if they all match up, and where they don’t, select the word that the majority agree on (or play it back to even more listeners if it’s really tricky or split). This would result in 100% accurate transcription within minutes, even if it’s a very long audio recording because it can be split up between thousands of people. It would also allow the AI to learn accents. The same multi sample iterative consensus method might work for translation, with many people translating the same short sentence from one language to another, although the variation would be much greater.
InterpretMyElectricDreams.com. A site that examines all the images you have saved from the Internet onto your computer or phone and uses an image-understanding system to recognize the subject matter in them, then spits out a list with the top ones by occurrence percentage and tells you what each might mean or signify, similar to how dream interpretation works. We save images without even thinking about it and they can serve as data for self-psychoanalysis – it is stuff we’re interested in, stuff we want more of. Its opposite would often be stuff we run from, we’re afraid of. For example, if you have saved a lot of landscape images and nature scenes, it might mean that you want to escape your urban lifestyle. For privacy, the site won’t be able to directly see the exact images you have saved - it would feature a small downloadable app that crawls and classifies the images locally on your machine and then sends back the percentage data. The same method can be applied to images you liked or hearted on sites like Instagram or Facebook.
SentimentTranslators.com. A site where you can post a sentence or short paragraph and have it rephrased by others in different styles. Someone might render it super confident, borderline aggressive. Someone might put it in a very day-dreamy and lackadaisical style. It’s all about mutation, rendering the structure underlying the language through different prisms. People would also be able to identify the sentiment of the original text you post. As examples accumulate, it would be illuminating to see how much of the structure is affected by the style, how much of the style is affected by the structure and how the two interact. It will also be interesting to see what kinds of words signify what kinds of attitudes. For example, for the super confident, borderline aggressive it would be a lot of expletives and exclamation points, or maybe the opposite – using big, serious words and statements ending in periods, indicating finality and lack of disputability. The former would be the in-your-face, drill seargant kind of super confident, borderline aggressive and the latter would be the calm, self-assured kind of super confident, borderline aggressive.
LetsDesignAComputer.com. A site where people from all walks of life collaborate in creating new designs for computers with the help and guidance of programmers and computer scientists. The key approach to enabling this would be the representation of computational functions and concepts as metaphors – like fables in which people, animals, places and objects have certain behaviors, relationships and interactions with each other. If the story devised by the professionals or lay users is a good enough approximation of the computational task at hand, anybody can come up with solutions to solving the problem, even young children. The kinds of designs originated by this community can be new types of algorithms, or variations of existing ones with altered weighing values or added subroutines, as informed by the parable solutions provided by the users and changing performance modestly or dramatically. They can also be physical chips or entire architectures routing electricity in previously untried ways. The biggest bottleneck would be coming up with appropriate fables representing the tasks to be solved.
QuestionElevator.com. A site where people can ask questions of public figures and hope to have them posed to them by someone in the position to do so that uses the site and picked your question (for example a journalist or reporter interviewing a public figure might browse questions posed by the users in preparation for the interview). Most likely, to be selected by a reporter or another person with access to the public figure, a question would have to be either very incisive or one that might lead to a potential interesting answer. Once posed and answered, a particularly great question may lead to its asker becoming a public figure themselves as a notable thinker or inquirer, for example by being invited to a debate or discussion with the public figure. The public figure may also personally contact the asker, for advice, insight, or general conversation. Coordinating with each other, two askers who are in contact with two public figures may be able to persuade those figures to debate or discuss a topic at a public forum or have them do it by correspondence, relaying questions and answers as proxies (announced or unannounced).
WatchTheWordsAppear.com. A place where writers or really anybody can stream themselves writing. No faces, no images, no talking, no music – just a blank page gradually filling up with words. Whenever the author reaches a point where they don’t know how to continue, they can ask everybody watching for suggestions. That blank could be for a single word, a sentence or a whole paragraph, as determined by the author, who then picks whichever continuation sounds best. The more frequent such prompts to viewers, the more collaborative the writing project. Whoever is writing may explicitly direct the viewers’ or author’s attention to things outside the page for them to refer to – images, music, scents – for the purposes of crafting the text. For example, the author may write “ok guys I’m drawing a blank here – can you write a description of [link to image]”. The viewers then convert the visual into words and the author picks whichever suits their overall direction the best, usually erasing the prompt and replacing it with the resulting description. Viewers who want to gain insight into the writing process or simply relive how it unfolded can scroll up to previous pages and go back in time to see how the text was crafted.
MindSoulMirror.com - A site where people go to find other people - ones they get along with, ones they are compatible with, ones they enjoy talking to and being with. Text only and no specifics of identity. Users can do different tests and use other methods that aim to group them with other users they would enjoy, either one-on-one or in groups. The concept is that you would reflect yourself not by how you describe yourself but by the actions and choices you make when presented with various stimuli. And all the other users would be doing the same, resulting in numerous spirits reflected in the same mirror that can then be connected to each other through it. All kinds of data will be used with all kinds of methods to make a pairing, for example, even the timing and the way you move your mouse before clicking on an answer. As more and more users rate each of these connections to each other as successful or unsuccessful, the data and methods that actually work in producing good pairings will become more and more evident. The mirror system will be able to match you both with people who are very much like yourself to a staggering degree and with people who are different from you but whose personality and mindset interacts with yours in a nice way. You would also have the option to be purposefully matched with someone who doesn’t match you at all, and any communication will be very unpleasant for you both or just you, but only if they themselves have chosen that option of matching. And to keep a sense of the baseline, you can be matched randomly and with people with whom you are likely to have a neutral or bland dynamic.