Chicago-based startup The Point launched late last year as a service that operates on the concept of the tipping point, gaining a certain type of committed traction before requiring users to take action. (See Mark’s interview with The Point here.) Today The Point is releasing its first major upgrade in its eighth month of beta testing, with new design tools centering around its new “carrot” campaigns and widgets for helping individuals promote their campaigns across the Web.
The “carrot” campaigns let users use the power of persuasion by presenting some form of incentive to participants in order to help a particular campaign gain traction. This could be money, a prize of some sort, or some other type of recognition of the collective accomplishment once the goal has been reached. The example that The Point gives is a pledge positive press coverage to the first major shoe company that moves its factories back to the United States. Consider it bribery, but presented in the form of a pledge, it becomes the positive reinforcement that not only encourages an unrelated third party, but offers another facet to the collective end goal that participants pledge towards using The Point’s system.
This may be one particular feature that needs to be considered carefully by its creators and promoters, as certain issues could be misleading or give th wrong impression as far as positive reinforcement goes, but we’re all dealing with human nature here, and that’s a blessing and a curse in and of itself.
The new widgets for promotional purposes are pretty straight forward, as they offer embed codes and other direct sharing options across a handful of social networking and bookmarking sites. These include Digg, Facebook and MySpace. I think future implementations of social media sharing for The Point could greatly leverage the existing communities on sites like Facebook for deeper integration and more promotion capabilities from there
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