How Mahalo social works part II

Got a lot of great feedback for yesterday’s post on how Mahalo social works, and how the wisdom of the crowds and social graph are helping us build better search results. Here are a couple of points I left out.

Barn Raising
Every day we put a couple of search terms on the home page and ask folks to help us with a traditional barn raising (hat tip to the Wikipedia). These pages are stubs that have no content when we put them up, but after 24-48 hours they have 10-30 good links and we organize them, put a Guide Note on them, and quality control them. As you can see today we’ve asked for help on Social Media, Chinese New Year, and Year Of The Rat.

Power contributors

If you look at the Chinese New Year page you’ll see that one contributor (aburd) has suggested over a dozen great, high quality links. When we accept these links aburd will get credit on the Chinese New Year page and his trust score will go up. This will drive traffic to his member page which as you can see has tabs for his Flickr, Facebook, Pownce, and Digg pages. As aburd grows in our community his recognition will go up, he will find more liked mined people in the system, make connections across social networks (i.e. I just added him on Facebook), and he may even get more “powers” on (we haven’t really released new “powers” yet since we’re figuring them out).

The Greenhouse vs. Mahalo Social

Our hope is that some of the top users might some day, if they want, make a living curating search results. When we started Mahalo 100% of the pages were built by our inhouse team. This was expensive and slow as you might imagine. Also, there will always be more expertise outside of our factory in Santa Monica than inside of it. So, we launched the “Greenhouse” and Mahalo Social. Folks who want to get paid to build search results have to spend hours and hours learning the formating and getting the details *perfect* in order to have their search results accepted. Folks in Mahalo social can just suggest links from time to time with no pressure, deadline, or need for perfection. So, that’s the difference if you were wondering. Aburd might have spent 10-20 minutes adding some links to the page yesterday, but someone in the Greenhouse might spend an hour or two making the page perfect.

We hope that the best users from Mahalo social will graduate to the Greenhouse (if they want to make some money), and that some of the Greenhouse folks will participate in the community activities (without pay, but that make the service better).

Teams in the Greenhouse

There are over a dozen teams in the Greenhouse (see above) and each has a template (see below), most wanted list (see below), and resources for Greenhouse Guides. You can see the Geography Team’s resource page and most wanted list below. As you can see the prices are variable and based on a combination of factors including how much effort we think it will take to make the page and how desirable the page is to Mahalo users. Eventually we’ll add the factor of home montizable the page is to this, but Mahalo is not trying to make money for the first couple of years–we’re trying to get to 10M uniques visitors a month first.

Mahalo Follow & Mahalo Share
In order to make it easier for folks to suggest links to Mahalo we’ve created two toolbars/Firefox extensions. Mahalo Follow and Mahalo Share. Both of them let you suggest links to Mahalo pages with a quick key (Apple-Shift-S) or by clicking a button in your toolbar, and both let you suggest links to multiple services at the same time (i.e. delicious, stumbleupon, Facebook, Twitter, Favs, Magnolia, Tumblr, etc). Mahalo Follow has the sidebar tool which some folks love and Mahalo Share doesn’t (for folks who don’t want the sidebar or toolbar… like folks with laptops). Try Mahalo Share or Mahalo Follow and we would love some feedback.

Is there anything you think I missed?
Is there anything I could be more clear about?
Do you have any suggestions or feedback?
Any questions?

Thanks for your time,


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