Brainstorming Tokens For Ranking Movies

in criticker •  4 months ago

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This article by @for91days is part of a creative blockchain investigation series. Learn more about the #dappexplorer project here.


This month, @sndbox has asked us to think about creating our own decentralized app. We have ideas for two! The first one is connected to @travelfeed but @jpphotography will be introducing this joint idea soon.

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Criticker Films & TV


As you might know from our recent re-introduction to Steemit, we're also behind the movie, TV and gaming recommendation engine, Criticker. This website has been calculating accurate and independent recommendations for over a decade, and building a tight-knit community at the same time. Our users interact with our database thousands of times per day, ranking titles, leaving mini-reviews and staring the reviews of others.

We could envision all these interactions being connected with matching interactions on the Steemit Blockchain, by implementing Steemit Smart Media Tokens. We could create our very own tokens (maybe calling them Flicks?) which represent our users' interactions with the Blockchain. We could do a lot of special things with them, too, for example rewarding extra tokens if their mini-reviews receive multiple stars. We could imagine our tokens being sold for STEEM, or used for paying for subscriptions services likes Netflix or Amazon prime.

That said, we don't really envision a separate app, but more an intelligent integration of SMTs into our existing website (which is optimized for different devices). One fear we have, though, is that it might attract users who aren't interested in interacting with @criticker in an honest way, but instead are only there to earn tokens. Our community is very dedicated to movies and games, but small, and a sudden influx of bad actors just looking for tokens would cause disproportionate damage to the site.

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To prevent this we're thinking of only providing the option to earn tokens to long term users. Our algorithm actually could handle nonsense rankings and continue to give meaningful recommendations to honest users making an effort. But we don't want to fill our website with junk data, and instead we'd like reward honest users. There's also the fear that our existing user base would be turned off by the introduction of SMTs, because the great majority have nothing to do with the blockchain, Steemit or anything to do with Bitcoins.

This is just an idea, what do you think? All the technical aspects of actually integrating SMTs is another story entirely.


This post was authored by @for91days, a member of the sndbox incubator. Learn more, follow @for91days or begin a conversation in the comment section below.


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So the highlighted problems currently are:

  1. Limiting "Bad Actors"
  2. Limiting SMT visibility to only the blockchain-positive crowd

Possible solutions:

  • Do not expose the SMT interface to all users, do not advertise it to users below a certain reputation ranking
  • Only onboard SMT users through STEEM blogs, strictly by invitation
  • Have a trial period where steemians only get rewards through their usual interface

That's some ideas for a trial, depending on it's success rate you can decide how to move on from there (or not).

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As always, balance is the key. If course offering tokens for participation is a huge incentive to sign up for our service. But then again we want real user. So we do want new users to know about possible tokens but making sure that they know it's only for serious participants.

Thank you for the input!

I wonder why I immediately thought of @for91days when I saw the title.....

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You know us too well :)

I think when it comes to earning money, spammers / scammers / bad people will always find a way. Haha. Some people will have the greed to earn the token, but not seeing the longer term: the value of the platform.
Maybe a serious user verification system will help to minimize the problem.

Btw, how is the integration with SMT will be done? Not in technical term, but in layman term, is it by user posting something and get rewards from upvotes (like steemit?)

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We imagine token distribution for every interaction with the blockchain but have incentives for highly ranked mini reviews for example. This could also apply to submitting movies or updating titles with additional information or uploading a better movie poster for example. Also the interaction in the forums could be rewarded as well.

I love the idea of Movie Review app in the Steem Blockchain. It's about time that we have such app. Go ahead with your plans guys, I am sure that most Steemians will agree with me.

Posted using Partiko Android

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Thank you so much for the encouragement. The thing is though, we don't even know where to start with. It will take some time, since we're just small team. The great thing is, that our users are ALL outside of Steemit so bringing them in slowly wouldn't be a big problem.

A reputation system that is representative of actual contribution (not like the steem one ) would be crucial for token distribution, maybe coupled with invitations and a trial period for new users. That could prevent the rapid influx of bad actors.

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That would be the only way to go. First of all, we're just a tiny team (two people) and getting swamped by thousands of new users would be too much for us to handle. Slow and steady is the key. But how do we even start?

@for91days I use Letterboxd to log, rate and review movies. I briefly browsed your website and it seems the main difference is that your site has a forum. I'll admit that I wish Letterboxd had that but it's not essential.

I also noticed that the profiles on your site aren't as detailed as on Letterboxd and that usernames can only be a maximum of 12 characters. That is rather restrictive.

Add to that that Letterboxd is really aesthetically pleasing. That's not to say that your site looks bad but it just looks plain when compared to the other.

Are there any other advantages you offer over other similar sites?

How would you convince me to use your site instead of theirs?

Creating a decentralized app might convince me.

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Thank you for checking Criticker. The main difference is the backend. Criticker was born to give recommendations but many users also log it to log their titles as well. Our recommendation site sets us apart and we can predict your taste plus / minus some percentage points. And many times we're right on. Another big difference is that our ranking system can handle different kind of scales. Some people rank 1 to 5, others use 10,20,30 and so on. But using the full scale guarantees the best prediction.

Also, always changing and is getting developed. It's just very slow since we're only two people and don't have any funding (which will make sure that the recommendations are actual accurate and not influenced by money givers). But on our forums we have a channel just for suggestions from our users and we always listen and implement if they make sense.

The interface needs an updates as well and it has changed over the years (you should have seen the very first version of Criticker, hehe)

And the community aspect (forums) is a big seller. We attract a pretty unique group of film lovers. And of course another reason to sign up with Criticker is of course to earn rewards for ranking movies.

How, when we would implement them, it an entire different question.

Hi! Very interesting and informative post!
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It makes sense. I meant to start using criticker but due to many issues i have not done it. I think that rating movies should be taken seriously. Hopefully your new take will sieve the grain from the husk.

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And receiving independent reviews will get harder and harder. Over the years we've seen many movie recommendation sites being bought up by big companies, tweaking results. Thank you for your comment!

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That's interesting. Doctors recommending the drugs made by the lab that hires them. No wonder we find such disparities between critics assessments and audiences preferences. Where does a site like rottentomatoes rank in this matter?

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As far as I know - Rotten Tomatoes is owned by Fandango (Comcast) and Warner Brother hold some stake. Which says it all!

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I see. Thanks for the info.

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