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I’m feeling philosophical tonight. I was reading through all the recent feedback that’s been coming through the site. If I had to make a general summary it would sound something like: “Love the site! You’re a ass for taxing my thollars.” In any case, two things struck me today.

One guy was complaining about the unfairness of the ‘Massive Windfall Tax’ and how such a function defeated the whole purpose of the game. Presumably the purpose of the game is to make as much fake money as possible. This is absolutely fascinating to me because I had never thought of ThotMarket as a game. I wonder how many users see it that way. Is it a game? That’s kind of like asking ‘Is this painting really art?’ I’m sure there is no answer, it’s just something interesting to think about.

Another interesting discussion that I’ve seen recently also centers around the layers of regulation that keep getting piled in to the system. I wonder if there are real world analogs for the balance between market dynamics and regulatory influence. My goal with ThotMarket is to create an economy of ideas that self regulates. Perhaps that’s too utopian, but I guess we should always strive for perfection, right? Someone smarter than me should investigate it.

In any case, the draconian caps and taxes are a band-aid, a stopgap, until the economy can be stabilized. By stabilized, I mean that there needs to be some reasonable balance between the few rich and the masses of less than rich. If the gap grows too large most users wont be able to effect a satisfying influence over the marketplace, and they will stop playing. I don’t think the super users really want that either (well most don’t). Wait a minute, I didn’t just call it a game did I?

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16 Comments

  1. This game or social bookmarking market(however you like to call it),would be more popular if all regulation was implemented inside the algorithms.Its a game in sense there is incentive to have more money then less money.Regulations urge to use creative ways of hoarding thollars.Hard caps make it useless to buy stocks of things that worth near 1000.
    Also thats why everyone has multiple accounts(that can’t be explained by 15 minute delays alone) to overcome these limitations.

    I will outline to you what makes this a game:
    The purpose of the site is to have your links clicked(
    sidenote:that why i have created so many neko forest links >.more influence>links get clicked more often.
    Since it requires thollars,the players create links for profit,not to share them with the community but to generate more income,to IPO more expensive links or buy other shares for more profit or intentional devaluation by dumping their stocks after awhile.
    That explains the negative purchases exploits.
    Players influence rises with amount of thollars.
    If you implement a cap on that influence,players will create more accounts to accumulate the influence.

    Your regulations/limits lead to more accounts,they do not fix any fundamental issues that make the game unbalanced.

    1.All links shouldn’t give any “percentage of dividends” to link owner, unless he does purchases own stocks.
    e.g. %100 public links.(This is the incentive to create “revenue” links(large scale).Owner doesn’t depend on the stock performing well.)

    2.Limits of share price :if you create stocks with 1000 share price it rises on top and rarely purchased.
    Conversely they are delisted when they reach 0.01.
    Cheap stocks are disadvantaged here.
    What you can implement is that stocks lose their price slowly,e.g. 3% per day with minimum loss of 0.01 per day,so that unpopular stocks eventually(but very slowly) get out of the system with confidence that they are really unpopular(site traffic is too small to justify fast delisting as it happens here).
    If the site was with x1000 larger audience,stocks can comfortably lose 3% per hour.And stocks could rise as far as the market wishes,since it bound to fall as soon as attention to it evaporates.

    3.Selling off stocks causes the price to drop.
    Consider this:Anyone can create 100 accounts and buy alot of single stock,and then in a swift operation sell it off.The price would decrease beyond the initial
    price at which that operation started.
    e.g. player A buy 100 stocks of X,causing price to rise
    +0.18, when he sells it off(with +0.18 profit) the price drops even lower,allowing him to buy more of the same stock.

    4.Buying stock causes price to rise,even when no one clicks the link.and anyone can buy the stock with multiple new accounts and then sell off with profit by the main account.
    Selling/Buying stocks on massive scale can manipulate price/position of the stock too much.

    A better formula would be that stocks do not fall when someone selling/buying them:They would only fall when #2 occurs,no one clicks the links or no one buys them anymore(by fixed percentage of stock e.g. 3% per hour) AND they would rise if someone clicks the links,by a fixed percentage(proportional to amount lost per hour/day when no one clicks).

    To summarize: price would rise only when links get really
    popular(clicked often) and dividends are distributed to purchased stocks only.stocks would fall on their own by each hour/day/week.
    Hoarding multiple unpopular stocks will cease(since they lose price and dividends are small to nonexistant).

    The idea of Thought Market is novel,but somewhat flawed approach to social bookmarking:
    it spawns a clique of link builders which “play” the market for more influence and making links unequal from the start.It should be geared towards a new “player” linking something without making extra accounts to “boost” stocks(see point #4).

  2. If i may disagree with one point of MidniteNeko;
    Instead of stocks going up BECAUSE they’ve been clicked on, I think that stocks should only go up if
    1) Stocks were bought
    2) THEN someone clicks on the link.
    The difference being that more clicks on the link do not cause the price to go further up. If you link the link, buy shares.

    About the buying to dump. . . A real stockmarket drops in price even as you buy. When you sell a large amount of shares, you are likely only to receive 75% of their value, due to price fluctuation while selling. Often, and annoyingly so, the price jumps back up shortly after you sell, mostly because the price was dropping because someone was selling (you). Such an implementation (sell slowly or get “taxed”), might work out.

    1 cent stocks: i already said, in a complaint, that such stocks are unfair. It’s simple, spend a cent making a stock you don’t like, buy all into it, wait until the price jumps to 2, or 5, or 10 or 20 cents. You’ve just double,d or tripled, or times 10 or 20 your current cash . . .

    Another problem with same stocks is that you can buy obscene amounts of stock and make huge dividends.
    An example would be best:
    $700 of 1 cent stock. Gives out .025 dividend per stock, or something. that’s $17.50.

    $700 of a $2.50 stock. gives out about 5 cent dividend. that’s about $4.

    And i’m pretty sure the dividend for the 1 cent stock is actually a nice bit higher. not to mention the stock price will rise more, and you’ll end up with $7000 value of that stock.

    One last gripe: I’ve put up thots i actually want to share. I’m been slowly building them up each time i log on.
    I am now the majority shareholder in ALL of my stocks. I barely effected the initial prices.
    It just takes one person, with say, 100 stocks to my 2200, to drop the price of the stock by 2/3rds. Maybe not that extreme, but Chopping Block dropped 5 cents since yesterday, and i have 70k stocks in that.

  3. I agree 150% with what is said above…right now it is too easy to manipulate stocks and prices – someone buys the majority of stocks and then suddenly decides to sell it all off will cause the value dropping like a rock, and then with the money earned he can just rebuy 10x or more as much of the same stock again.

  4. well, I agree with parts of what has been said (the early parts), however it is strange to me that instead of buying and selling stocks between participants, we only trade with the system. I know it would make as many problems as it would solve, but wouldn’t it be more fun if after a period of initial placement (done like it is now, or just sold off at a fixed price) the stocks would be traded between players? it would certainly make it more stock market like, and less exploity (well, anyway, as unexploity as stock markets usualy are…).
    This would off course make multiple accounts a big problem, but I guess you can ask people not to do it (and promise to ban those who are too persistent with it).

  5. As a comment on the first comment regarding “All links shouldn’t give any “percentage of dividends” to link owner, unless he does purchases own stocks.” why not? If it’s not all public that it’s the owner is only floating a small percentage of the link and so would get the percentage to them. Of course it would make more sense for the link owner to be given the shares to start them at that % rather than it being some fixed % of course that means handling the concept of how many shares are issued. On a real market you can’t buy or sell unless someone else wants to buy from or sell to you.

    As an aside I’ve noticed lots of people issuing links for less than 100% public, which with the current system doesn’t make sense. The capital generated from revenue is far less than that from the shares (which makes the % public figure make no sense at all). I started a link at 20% public and bought 10 shares in it, those shares at the 20% have made me fair more than the revenue ever will.

    Oh and yes, it is a game 🙂

  6. Hey guess what, you could just limit the amount of accounts to one or two. Problems solved.

  7. I started off playing this as a game. I still do.

    I started 2 days ago with $100. Today I have a portfolio of over $200 million.

    I did this doing what people in the real world do. I saw a shift in what the market was buying and shifted into the same stream.

    The thots I’ve founded pay nearly nothing in revenue. However in dividends they pay several times more. $0.46 vs $41,000.00

    I don’t know what you consider the mega rich in the game. Perhaps I’ve met that but I doubt it as I made this amount far too quickly to think it puts me in some category of rich. Especially when I don’t really do much buying and selling. Mostly just buy and hold FOREVER.

    In curiosity though, what is “rich” in a thot?

  8. Limits and regulations can be always overcome.
    The system needs to be immune to any such manipulations from the start.

  9. ideally, it wouldn’t make sense to try and cheat because the amount of effort is worth the amount of gain.

    Limiting accounts is usually very easy to overcome, and the prize is still infinite thollars.

  10. In retrospect, i think i suggested to remove all the stockmarket features and become another of those bookmarking sites with click counts.
    Maybe there is better a better solution then limits,but
    this website is unique because of what it is.

    still these issues are important:
    1.Windfall tax is really unfair.Its could be 15/50% of thollars above 1Million per/day
    2.The time between stock trades of the same stock is too long.
    3.The graphics often don’t reflect the current price.
    And it doesn’t changes too often anyway,

  11. Nah, the stock system just needs some reworking – it’s still full of holes. Seeing stock prices jump up and down for just cause someone happens to have several accounts and keeps buying/selling the max number of stock allowed for instance is a major problem still.

    The influence of buying and selling needs to be toned down by an extreme lot, and other factors must determine the value – clicking on the links for instance would be nice, but then it has to be a rather long term effect and not an immediate one. In addition, there ought to be some sort of IP logging which only allows for 1 click a day/per hour/whatever feels right per IP. Remove the revenue bit that you gain from clicks and let the revenue simply be a percentage of the value of stock that you gain once per X; X being whatever is appropriate.

    Remove the limit on the number of shares that you can buy, BUT, the one who puts up the site must also determine how many shares someone can buy – just like in a real stock market. This will force the one who put up a site on the market to maintain the site. Thing is, the more shares you release, the worse it is for the business since you end up owning less and less of it. So basically when you submit a site, instead of determining the percentage that you wish to own, you determine the number of stock that you want to release, and the amount of released is immediately added to the owner as profit, but ownership percentage is reduced. On top of that, if the ownership falls below 51% then the person who was in charge of the site should lose control of and control should go to whoever owns the highest percentage of shares. Idea is to get as few shares out to the public as possible, yet to have those shares that you do have out being valued as high as possible.

    The misc taxes needs to be reworked as well.

    Statistics needs to be added, such as richest participant, who owns the most sites, which sites are most popular etc etc (which we already have of course…)

    There are of course still quite a few flaws with this plan since in reality, when a business releases shares they use the money earned from the release to improve/expand and aren’t just kept. I don’t really see how this part could be simulated for sites – maybe someone has some good ideas?

    All in all, the problem is that money and value is too easy to obtain and the solutions to remove them aren’t too great at the moment.

    • You're all idiots
    • Posted September 14, 2007 at 9:09 pm
    • Permalink
    • Reply

    All of the above is garbage.

    The market was fine the way it was without the 100’000 share cap and stupid gay windfall tax

    The only problem is letting people generate money by clicking on links. It’s pretty simple to just post your thot link to a very popular messageboard and get 1’000 clicks on it or set up some bots to automatically click your link and make more dividend than the shares are worth instantly.

    Oh and the “buy negative shares and generate your own money” bug was pretty hilarious, glad that’s fixed.

  12. Also,if you intend to move beyond public beta: how you will handle commercial spam?
    There thousands of spammers which have resources and time to advertise on the site,if it ever becomes popular.Right now anyone can create dozen of site links per minute if he wishes so.

  13. Is it a game?

    It’s interesting that you sought to create something living and manipulatable, based on simply people’s perceptions of this idea, or that idea. It’s wonderful, really. Is it a game in the classic sense? No- but therein lays the beauty. When something lives- it changes and has a feeling of animation to it – people will attempt to interact with it- almost no matter the animal or device. Maybe that’s all a game is, and this, with the added benefit of a sense of competition added from societal conditioning makes a game for those who wish it to be one.

    Anyway, one of the neater sites around. Good job.

  14. Good

  15. very nice


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