Bar Camp: Yahoo Finance and community

A session at Bar Camp on Ajax UI best practices veered into a discussion of UI for community reputation. We were there with the designer of Yahoo Finance, who has a truly thorny problem, where UI is the smaller bit of the problem.
In smaller communities, where people go by their real names and misbehavior has serious informal and formal consequences, like a wiki in a company, misbehavior is minimal. Many larger communities have mostly good people, with a few bad actors trying to spoil it for the rest of everyone. These communities develop specialized mechanisms for fending off trolls and crimiinals — Ebay, Craigs List, Slashdot and Wikipedia (for much of its content) fall into this pattern. Slashdot has tools for making the nuisances inaudible, WIkipedia has tools for banning them, Ebay and Craigs List have processes for getting them locked up.
But with Yahoo Finance, a large population of the most active users are day traders. Their intent is to pump up the stocks they want to buy and trash the stocks they want to sell. There seems to be less of a core of “good community” than there is of bad actors.
One thought – is there a way to utilize explicit social networks, like investement clubs, plus “friend of friend” features in order to protect the good folk, and to create reputation that expandss the circle of known good folk?
And the perennial takaway – the tools you use to foster community online are dependent and interdependent with the nature of the community.

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