I received an email yesterday that was sent to about 100 people. It was from a friend who was trying to rustle up some votes for his girlfriend, who had been entered in a contest to find the sexiest bartender in America. His message was pretty simple: “Vote for her…here’s the link.” No doubt it had some affect, but I couldn’t help but thinking that when you (or someone you know) has the chance to win a contest on the internet via votes from friends, it would be handy to have a lot of people who would vote.
Startup #84 – iVoting Block
This idea would be a site where folks sign up as members and then post contests online in which they need votes. The catch would be that you can only receive as many votes to your contest as you have given. So, you would need to vote in other people’s listings to get votes for your own listings. From contests to Digg posts, there are TONS of things to vote on on the internet. Is this idea “gaming” those ballots? Yes. But participants game ballots all the time; this is simply making the process more effective for those that are inclined.
Revenue could be generated through membership fees or, more lucratively, “buying” votes. Clicking on an external link and voting on something is not all that time-consuming. A few pennies here and a few pennies there could add up quickly.
The difficulty comes in creating a system with integrity wherein votes can be confirmed. I’d have to leave that one to the software engineers, making this idea somewhat incomplete. That said, there are a few Digg gaming sites like Suvert and Conquer (iirc) that have a mechanism in place for deploying voting blocks. Thoughts?