2013 Projects
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Commation
Michael Matthews

Commation wishes to address the social inequality that exists throughout societies around the world. Occupy Wall Street faded into the background of our social media when individuals stopped physically participating in demonstrations, but this does not mean that our nation’s problems are fading away too.

What if a system existed to document the ideas of people interested in the cause weather or not they had the ability to physically join the crowds? One major problem with Occupy Wall Street is its lack of a goal or direction, which can be attributed partially to the disorganization of individuals’ thoughts and motives during the protests.

During a general assembly this past winter we sat in the cold for almost an hour debating the best time for our next meeting. We settled on meeting midday during the week, which is inconvenient for workers with 9-5 jobs, while any time after 5 is inconvenient for those who work nights. Organizing protests effectively raises awareness about controversial issues within our society, but with advancements in technology it is now possible to communicate more effectively through digital communication channels using internet technology.

We understand the impact that Facebook has on our culture (now with one billion active users and counting) so let’s create something that can be useful to quantify our opinions online and assign value to important ideas. Don’t worry about being too shy to speak out or missing an assembly, you can invest your opinions through Commation.com were they will not be ignored.

Commation is a system for collaborative idea building that runs through a web browser. It can be used by anyone with internet access to post a comment about an idea that they would like to share with the community.

The site creates a hierarchy of comments by sorting them into columns based on popularity. When a comment reaches a threshold number of votes, it will migrate into a column with a higher threshold. It will then become the parent of a blank lower threshold column and the system will repeat. The concept of voting on ideas or “buying shares” was inspired directly by the stock market’s system. Once you have voted, keep an eye on your interest’s by reviewing their favorability over time as represented by a “ticker” or graph. If the idea is popular enough (reaches a certain number of votes) users will gain the ability to comment and talk about it in another column.
The Idea of using a graphic system similar to that used by the NYSE is particularly important here. It converts a powerful aspect of our country’s financial system to an interest investment system that can be used by the rich and poor. People of the United States have witnessed damage done by the stock market and the ability of big banks to exploit it for their own good, but rarely will someone risk buying stock in a company that they believe in. Commation allows anyone to invest without the risk of losing it all.

 

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