Tabulate and publish the “props” and “thanks” between people.
We keep track of the money we owe each other, but why not the favors and nice things we have done? We all know which of our friends is always willing to lend a hand, let’s celebrate that person and give them the recognition they deserve. Similar to how I receive weekly “Network updates” on Linked-in, it would be cool to get weekly reports on how “Brett thanks Bryce for editing his paper” and “Brian thanks Janos for the ride to TN” or “Michelle thanks Jordan, Aranda, and Kar Han” for coming to her show.” Create a leaderboard so that everyone can see who is helping out, thus creating incentives for people to help each other more often. Not only would this system give the most helpful people the recognition they deserve, it would eliminate the shadows in which the less helpful among us hide.
Clearly, people’s fear of being valued and unable to hide their unwillingness to pitch in is the largest obstacle to the adoption of such a system, so I would focus on the positives. Unlike the Time Banking Idea I articulated on Monday, a Karma Calculator would not be tit for tat but rather a homage to those that help a brother out. It’s kind of like micro Linked-in recs.
What do you guys think? Would you be more or less likely to help someone that you know has gone out of their way to help others? Do you think that helpful people would be overwhelmed with requests?