Saturday, October 15, 2005

Grid Chart Landmarks Work

I've been working on the landmark system for Grid Chart, including ratings. To me the idea of ratings is to help people know what to expect. Also if you have explicit ratings it makes features like filters or searches more practical. I figure two kinds of content people are often interested in knowing about are sex and violence, whether they want to find it or avoid it, so I think those should be standard ratings in some form or other. Also I don't think a ratings system should try to convey everything. A shared landmark should include a description and people should use common sense.

One thing I realized is that there's a distinction between what's allowed at a place versus how extreme it might get. You might have an art gallery that shows anything, only a small amount of it sexual, but there might be no limit on how extreme it gets. On the other hand you might have a gallery focused only on erotica, but it doesn't show anything more hardcore than what you'd find in a magazine like Maxim. If you simply rate the first gallery X and the second one PG-13 (using movie ratings just for example), I think you're missing something pretty important.

At first I thought about two categories of ratings, one for the intensity and another one for how appropriate or likely the content is. But now I'm considering not having a rating for "intensity" at all. Just something like "None - Some - A Lot - Essential". So in the example above the first gallery would have a sex rating of "Some" and the second gallery would have a sex rating of "Essential", and people would have to depend on the description for a better idea of the content.

Below are the properties I currently have for landmarks. I haven't ruled out a tag system for the future but the initial goal is something simple, predictable and easy to share. My plan is for Grid Chart users to share landmarks peer-to-peer and to subscribe to lists of landmarks. As much as possible I want Grid Chart to be able to display and work with common types of landmarks (clubs, homes, mature vs not mature) in a predictable manner.

Category (Home, Retail, Game, Club, Art, Casino, Venue, Park, Attraction, Religion, etc)
Description (short, 512 characters)
Access (Private, Open, Fee)
Place Owner
Landmark Creator
Date Landmark Created
Sex Content
Violence Content

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