UpToken.org an experiment in real world up voting

UpToken.org an experiment in real world up voting

Image courtesy Shanning Wan.

Uptokens are a way of giving someone an up vote–ala Reddit– in real life. I thought it was a mildly clever idea, but I  had no clue how or even if people would use it.

So I built a first pass at a product using node.js/express/mongo for the website and Pogs with unique codes on them for the tokens.

I presented the idea at the most recent SF Hardware Startup Meetup at Jellyfish Arts to a pretty positive response and handed out a few tokens to atendees.

Feedback has fallen generally into two categories:

1. “This is really cool and OMG POGS!!”


2. “I can’t see how I would give someone one of these in real life without it being awkward”

While it’s still early, the data so far seems to support the latter.

Uptokens or similar tools meant to reinforce positive behavior may need a more controlled environment in order to spread; perhaps inside a school as part of a program to reward certain kinds of behavior or a small town (Canada saw success with a similar program where police “cited” teens for good behavior).

I still have about 80 tokens left in the initial batch, so I’ll keep investigating how people interact with the product. Who knows, maybe people will really start getting into it.

If not, do you think schools or other organizations would be interested in a sytem like Uptoken?