Cascading kudos: a new way of 'liking'

Cascading Kudos is a kind of ‘pyramid scheme of aggregation’, where the creator of content – such as a comic strip, or an article, or photo – continues to get recognition for their work no matter how many people distribute, and redistribute, and re-re-distribute, ad infinitum, their creation.[i] It also ensures that those distributors – including those who frame it in a new light, or add their own commentary to it – also acquire recognition for their curating skills, as people down the line re-post their re-post. Even a thousand re-posts later, everyone upwards – the previous re-poster, all the way to the creator – will still be getting virtual ‘points’. For kudos, like money, always flows up. Under the Cascading Kudos model, everyone wins: creators, talent-finders, cool-hunters, editors, as well as the countless people on Facebook, Twitter, and so forth who ‘share’ a post, link to an article, or ‘Like’ something that is subsequent reshared, retweeted, or ‘reliked’.


However, it also ensures that the creator of the content gets more credit than the reposter, who may have simply figured out a clever title to use when sharing on social bookmarking sites such as Reddit or Digg.

Cascading kudos also maintains a ‘continuity of credit’ across systems. For example, even if a link to a review (let’s say, on the New York Times’ Book page) of a book (published by a Random House imprint) is posted on Facebook, and the link receives many ‘likes’, both the original reviewer, as well as the author of the actual book, would still get recognition.

A description of the exact formula used to distribute the ‘kudos’ between creators and curators is beyond the scope of this post. However, a simple version would be that Creators get one kudos point no matter the number of times their work is mentioned down the lined; the first reposter gets half a point for every time their post was subsequently reposted any point down the line; the second reposter would get a quarter of a point; and so on.

One of the closest and most popular model that is being used, and which comes to mind, is ‘PageRank – though unlike Google’s model, in which pages form a non-linear network of pages, Cascading Kudos is much more hierarchal, like a mind map.

Image by rdy4ever

End note

[i] Incidentally, the Cascading kudos model does not actually exist – at least to my knowledge, and at least under that particular name. If you like the idea, you're welcome to implement it - just make sure I get some kudos at the end :)
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