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Joel’s New Biz Idea

Sunday, December 9th, 2007
Posted in Joel by Joel Gross

I had an idea for starting a new business and would like some feedback.

There are currently lots of social networking websites that allow people to create profiles and say things about themselves. I would like to make a site that allows people to say things about other people Wikipedia style. Wiki-people. People could sign on and write reviews of their friends and publicly thank or praise them. I may possibly allow people to say negative comments as well as positive things, but there is a whole host of legal and ethical issues that would accompany doing so.

I could build spiders that would go out and crawl the web and bring back information on tons of people and automatically populate my database. As the website starts showing up in the search engine’s for people’s names they would start to comment on profiles and alter them.

If I allowed negative things to be posted as well as positive, I am sure I could turn this website into a billion dollar venture… however I would also get my pants sued off. I am trying to think of ways to protect myself legally. Ethical issues are also important- would this site be used more for evil than for good? I’ve talked to two friends so far about it and they think it would be. I believe that protections could be set up to prevent abuse.

2 thoughts on “Joel’s New Biz Idea

  1. If you are a simple facilitator you could be like Craiglist and dodge any type of legal responsibility for what is said in the interest of free speech. Shouldn’t be too complicated. There is a lot more web leniency.

  2. That is my hope. I am going to launch the beta version of the site soon and you can get in there and write dozens of profiles and comments on your family and friends. We’ll see what happens.

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