Rx for a Web that's More Mass Media than the Mass Media

Hooked on popularity, clueless about quality

Today's Internet excels at bringing the world cute pictures of animals, but how often do you discover a song by an unsigned band or a self-published e-book online that you like well enough to buy?

There's a simple reason the current Web doesn't work well for disseminating creative or intellectual content: it doesn't have a way to tell what's good. All that today's Internet really knows is what's popular.
  • Under this approach, content needs a lot of popularity to be even marginally visible.
  • Content creators need to get virtually everyone they know "liking" or otherwise recommending their material to all their friends, and they have to do the same with all their friends, and so on.
  • Without this frenzy of initial endorsement, content tends to stay trapped in the invisibility of a black hole.

Unequipped to move past cat pictures

Raw popularity may be a workable proxy for quality in pictures of animals (everybody "gets" these), but it's a disaster for evaluating significant creative or intellectual content.
  • What if Albert Einstein had to get all the people he knew as a patent office clerk "favoriting" his General Theory of Relativity before anyone else could take a look at it?
  • What if all of William Faulkner's neighbors in rural Mississippi had to "like" his stories before anyone in New York could learn of his work?
With massive popularity a prerequisite for visibility, the supposedly more "open" Internet is now more rigid in its demand for mass-market appeal than the traditional mass media are.

Pinpointer was created to give better content a better chance

We've based our service and tools on the following principles:
  • To discern quality in creative and intellectual work, you need discerning people.
  • This work can be done better by a limitless supply of independent "taste mavens" online than by the limited set of overwhelmed employees now tasked with screening demos and manuscripts by record labels, publishers, and agents.
  • It's absurd to presume that everybody values, likes, or wants the same things.
  • Just as people now go to particular clothing stores to find subsets of apparel that suit their tastes and budget, they'll want to visit carefully culled subsets of creative content reflecting tastes similar to their own online.
  • The proper tools can enable people who recommend things online to play a more significant role as content "retailers."

Pinpointer helps online taste mavens be content "retailers"

  • Each "storefront" contains whatever subset of web content its "proprietor" finds most appealing.
  • Each comes with a robust suite of content discovery tools.
  • Each has its own URL, which can be included as a link from wherever the owner likes (a blog, Facebook, reddit, Pinterest, etc.)
  • Our way of presenting content encourages visitors to be aware of who's recommended content items they like, because this is the best way to learn whose tastes align best with their own.
  • The order in which we present recommenders for each category reflects the actual value they've added—not just how popular they currently are.
  • With an abundance of categories, we give recommenders an abundance of ways to become known in a specialty area, and grow from there.