What a Business Idea!

Yes, this sounds very good indeed….unless someone is already doing it.

//For anybody out there looking for a business idea how about a software filter which uses information provided by other internet users to create its block list. i.e. like social bookmarking. Other parents/users who stumbled across a site could rate it or block it and other visitors could rate or block it similarly. Those sites with a high block rating would stay blocked, but those with lower ratings would stay open. Parents could also set the filter strength of the software. This relies on no central censor but rather the distilled morality of thousands of individuals. Talk to me; I am too busy to pursue independently but would be happy to work with somebody on it//

Can we get some technical input from readers?

A collaborative project perhaps?

8 comments on “What a Business Idea!

  1. Cheers for the splash. It is just one of those ideas that keep circling round my head but which I do not have the time to pursue! I am sure your intelligent readers will be able to assess the merits or soundly rip it apart.

  2. Certainly technically possible, and similar to how sites like Digg and Reddit work.

    There’s also a site called stumbleupon.com that has a toolbar so that when you visit a site, you can click to say “I like this”.

    There is also PICS data which can be picked up. Most sites with “offensive” content don’t want people visiting who will be offended (not sure if Firefox picks this up, but it could be collected by this too).

    It looks like a bunch of Carnegie Mellon guys had a similar idea: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6V8S-4F8TKCJ-1&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=6842ebe3cd590b3eced28fbecfc862d3

  3. Certainly possible to do this. I could see this easily being a project a bunch of interested people could collaborate on. However most of the geeks who do this for free are actually doing the reverse. Providing proxies to get past Chinas firewall, creating encrypted P2P networks, creating secure comms over the Internet. The ones who want censorships only do it for money. Funny that.

    I could see this easily being used for political ends. For example our green friends could band together and submit enough -ve reports to block Shell, BP, our politicians could block access to BNP, UKIP. Who is going to fix that?

    Once the users realise the can’t get on some valid sites because they have been blocked by a bunch of ‘Googlehackers’ (Need a new word here) then the sw is turned off.

    Good riddance. It comes back to, and always should, the fact that parents need to keep a tighter rein on their kids.

  4. Tim, I would think it would be the kind of thing parents would pay for to protect their little Johnny. We already splash out on anti-virus software so why not for a ‘community internet filter’?
    Again, I have not put a great deal of effort into looking at a business model or business case, but once you get it set up it has global presence, gets stronger/more powerful as more people use it and so increases in value (to the user) as the network grows (i.e. from more responsive and wide reaching filtering).

    I guess the main issue is what inentive is there for users to put in the effort to rate a site. But then none exists for social bookmarking but people do it anyway!

  5. This is old news in world of spam where the object is to block incoming connections from known sources and open relays.

  6. Dave, your point is very valid. I guess the fundamental difference with something like the community filter proposed is that it is not run by the state and people could always switch it off to get to the sites unhindered. Any filter has to be voluntary, otherwise it infringes liberty.
    While certain groups could attempt to hijack the system and flood it with bad ratings of particular sites, it would be possible to correct the anomalies fairly easily.

  7. Implementations for email have caused us nothing but years of grief trying to relay, but they seem to rely on a 3 stikes your out (for ever) approach. Things may have changed as I don’t spend much time looking at email thesedays…

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