"Readocracy is on a mission to bring integrity back to the internet." Get credit for what you read online. Prove you are well-informed on any subject.

Join Readocracy
The Content Zeitgeist Guiding Principles Mission

Report bug

Thank you for your feedback!
We will investigate this issue.

Choose the company account you’d like to activate.

Already Setup

Your company already has a Readocracy profile. To be added to the profile, please contact the person from your organization that registered it.

View

Unlock full access and earn your first badge.

You have 3 ways of verifying your profile. Why verification? It’s what helps us guarantee a troll-free, bot-free, spam-free, trust-driven experience in our community features.

Why is this necessary?

  • Simple: to keep our community free of trolls, bots, spam, and also make it more respectful, we need to make sure that every profile belongs to a real person, using their real personal details. Without this step, it becomes very, very easy for “bad actors” (those looking to exploit our network and your attention) to infiltrate us and turn it into a noisy mess like the existing social networks.

How does this prevent trolls, bots, spam?

  • Bots, trolls, spammers, fake news peddlers, and inconsiderate behaviour all trace back to one factor: the ability to create fake profiles. This plays out in two ways. First, it means being able to create as many profiles as you want, and to keep creating others even when you face repercussions. Second, it means having zero traceable responsibility or accountability associated with your actions. By ensuring every profile that accesses our community features is traced to a real person, we can dramatically reduce the above forms of abuse.

Our team knows you?

If somebody from our team personally invited you, just click the button below and we’ll verify you manually. Sorry about that!

Reminder: our core team has to have directly invited you, and know you in real life, for us to be able to verify you.

Back Verify me

Verify with a selfie

This is a classic way of helping us verify you: simply take a selfie, in which you’re holding either a) a letter to you, with your name visible in the photo, or b) a newspaper or magazine with today’s date or month visible in the photo. (If you can include both, even better!)

Note: for this to work, you need to have already set your profile’s cover photo so we can compare the two, and the name on the letter should match what you set on your profile. As soon as you are verified we will delete the photo from our servers.

How to easily take + upload a selfie on desktop

  • If you're on a computer with a webcam...

    On an Apple laptop, you can do this with the built-in Photobooth app. To find it quickly, use your Spotlight Search (top right corner on your desktop). In Photobooth, click the camera icon in the bottom center to take the photo. The photo will appear in the bottom right of the app. Right click it, and export to where you want to save it. That's it! Upload that file!

    On a Windows computer with a webcam, simply access the Camera app from the Start menu. Simple as that, you're off to the races. Upload the photo you take.

  • If you don't have a computer with a camera...

    You can use your phone to take a photo, and then either email it to yourself to access it on desktop (we know, a little tedious, sorry), or, if you have Apple devices, you can AirDrop it to your computer, as long as both of your devices have Bluetooth turned on, and are within range. Simply choose the share option on your photo, and your computer should appear under the shortcuts of people/devices to share to.

(Max size 2MB)
Back Verify me

Verify with government ID

This option is straightforward: upload a photo of your government ID, that clearly displays your photo and name, in a way that easily matches up with the details you provided in your profile.

How to easily take + upload a photo on desktop

  • If you're on a computer with a webcam...

    On an Apple laptop, you can do this with the built-in Photobooth app. To find it quickly, use your Spotlight Search (top right corner on your desktop). In Photobooth, click the camera icon in the bottom center to take the photo. The photo will appear in the bottom right of the app. Right click it, and export to where you want to save it. That's it! Upload that file!

    On a Windows computer with a webcam, simply access the Camera app from the Start menu. Simple as that, you're off to the races. Upload the photo you take.

  • If you don't have a computer with a camera...

    You can use your phone to take a photo, and then either email it to yourself to access it on desktop (we know, a little tedious, sorry), or, if you have Apple devices, you can AirDrop it to your computer, as long as both of your devices have Bluetooth turned on, and are within range. Simply choose the share option on your photo, and your computer should appear under the shortcuts of people/devices to share to.

(Max size 2MB)
Back Verify me

Subject request

Get the BETA app

Community Guidelines

Here are the rules of the road to be part of the Readocracy community: Deliberately and consistently violating any of these points - especially 1. and 2. - will result in expulsion from all community features, and potentially expulsion from Readocracy as a whole (even solo features). Conversely, exemplifying these points will get you recognized and rewarded. Readocracy = meritocracy. To make the most of Readocracy, we recommend:

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does ___ Work

"How do you make money? Are you just another data-exploiting, privacy-infringing business?"

We can understand business model concerns or skepticism, given the status quo today seems to assume the only way to make money online is to exploit people and their data. We made Readocracy, however, precisely to fight this trend, as we explain in our mission ( https://readocracy.com/mission ) and our Guiding Principles ( https://readocracy.com/guiding-principles ).

We know it is a very big mountain we have to climb, but we are passionate and believe we have a unique solution that also makes economic sense. The logic is simple: the online education market and Learning & Development markets are almost 3 times bigger than the digital advertising market - which itself is increasingly volatile anyways. There is plenty of money to be made while focusing on learning and branding value that is actually helpful to the end users, instead of cheap advertising and creepy targeting for faceless businesses or political groups.

More precisely, no part of our business model relies on selling your data or using your data in a way that you don't know about. It is the exact opposite: we give you more control and visibility than any other platform. You can literally see when we are tracking attention, you can dismiss it any time, and it's up to you how you present that data (your verified consumed content). Nothing else is saved, and we don't use it for any purposes that you can't personally benefit from.

So how do we make money, specifically? For organizations* who want to sign up their teams it is a monthly subscription cost, and for individuals** it is free for the basics and there is an optional premium with some nice bonus features if you want them.

*We know hearing "organizations" can also (justifiably) trigger fears of corporate monitoring or exploitation. So let's be clear what organizations/institutions/teams can use Readocracy for:
- Getting a collective profile that showcases all of your aggregate professional+public verified reading in one place, i.e. showcasing the individuals, know-how, and commitment of your team. Great for presenting to prospects, stakeholders, or clients, and also for attracting talent.
- Recognizing/featuring team members for their professionally + publicly sorted content (in general, team accounts only include what members have individually made public anyways).
- Intra-team learning, including team-only Search ("who can I ask about _____"?), Collections ("Need to get up to speed on _____? Here is the best reading, chosen by our team), Reading Groups (discuss content in a dedicated place, content-first, instead of polluting Slack, email, etc), and email digests (get caught up/ never miss important reads).

**Individual paid benefits (depending on the plan you choose) beyond the free option:
- Archiving all your sorted reading, so you don't have to worry about the original website having preserved the link or file (look up "link rot"). Keep your amassed knowledge for life, instead of having a likely sizeable portion of your saved content links cease functioning over time.
- Advanced Personal Insights, including bonus analyses about your consumption.
- Unlimited Reading Tray, allowing unlimited integrations with external content and collaboration services.
- Visitor Insights, including a full log of visitors, both members and public traffic, including what content they tended to click into on your profile, and where they came from.
- Custom Linkedin header photo, allowing you to generate an impressive custom image for the top of your Linkedin page.
- If you are a writer, Writing Insights, through a complimentary Readefined.com account.

"What are the credits for? / Why credits? / What is a credit?"

The "credit" is both figurative and literal.

Figurative in the sense of recognition - getting credit AKA recognized for being well-informed through all the reading you've done online.

In a more literal way we are quantifying each piece of information and assigning it a number of credits based on the length, density, source, and how experts have appreciated it. These credits go into your profile which you can embed on LinkedIn, your CV, and anywhere else you want to enforce your credibility on a subject/ in general.

The credits are also used to give transparency to understand the credibility and context of people's contributions E.g. helping you understand if somebody is well-read or well-respected on the subject at hand, versus somebody who has never read a single article on the subject before commenting, sharing, etc.

Overall, the credits earned have 5 benefits/ applications:

1) The credits are sorted into a profile that is an impressive, thoroughly data-supported way of showing off your likely knowledge and commitment to any subject. These profiles, along with the stats, can be embedded in Linkedin, your CV, and more. This can help you land your next job, especially if you're traditionally under-qualified. If you're familiar with HR or recruiting, you'll know 3 things to be true:
- the traditional CV is not enough (easy to inflate its claims);
- it's extremely important to stand out from the mind-numbingly homogenous pile of cover letters and applications;
- it's almost guaranteed a digital/social media background check will be done on you. Your public and embeddable Readocracy profile helps significantly with all 3 points. Furthermore, as an applicant, there is this fun little Catch 22 regarding degrees: when you first get them, you lack the experience; when you've had them for some time, their value/relevance is considered reduced. Readocracy helps you prove your passions and likely knowledge beyond what your degree can say (very little). We have already seen this approach land some impressive jobs that otherwise seemed out of reach.

2) The credits give context to understand the credibility of people's contributions E.g. helping you understand if somebody is well-read or well-respected on the subject at hand, versus somebody who has never read a single article on the subject before commenting, sharing, etc. Between the job aspect, and this, it's why we refer to the profiles (powered by the credits you earn) as trust and credibility passports.

3) The credits help you become much more mindful of how you spend your time online. Credits are based on the length, density of information, and reliability of the source (we rely primarily on MediaBiasFactcheck's comprehensive database for this). Thus, when something is worth 1 credit, versus 30, it immediately reminds you what you're spending your time on. You might think twice about reading endless listicles in zombie mode and, conversely, might be more inclined to give time to that reputable long form piece you were about to put off.

4) The credits can earn you real world rewards: we are working on partnering with organizations to provide perks or a discount if you're a top ranked reader or contributor on certain subjects each month. E.g. if you're one of the top readers in Business, you might earn 20% off an HBR subscription.

5) Lastly, bragging rights. There will be leaderboards that you can search to see how you rank on any subject, or combination of subjects, across any geography.

"How can you tell if somebody actually read something? How does it work?"

Sorry, that's secret sauce! Just kidding. Sort of. Essentially, Readocracy - via our extension and app - is tracking your speed, depth, but also your patterns of behaviour, and how they line up with the content, which we analyze using A.I. It has been verified as industry-leading/unique by world class researchers in the content analytics field.

We only track the bare necessities needed to decide whether you deserve credit for reading something, which means we're paying close attention to your behaviour patterns on a page, and doing that particularly well. That's it. We don't log or save absolutely anything else. It's pretty straightforward: if you don't see the grey bubble in the bottom corner, the extension or app isn't tracking at all. Once it is, if you've gotten credit, it's up to you whether you want to dismiss it, or edit how it's sorted (publicly or privately). We aim to give you 100% visibility and control.

It's the closest you'll get to attention detection without relying on creepy camera-based surveillance. This way we can give you maximum visibility and control over what we track.

Unlike most other platforms, our business model doesn't profit off your data, so we have no motivation to be hoovering up more. (You can learn more about our user-respecting business model in the rest of the FAQ.)

"Why/how did you decide on a credits system for Readocracy?"

The number of credits an article is worth is based on:
- the length of the article,
- the density of information,
- and the credibility of the source (using MediaBiasFact-check's ratings).

An article can increase in value if experts on the subject consistently recommend it.

You can also earn credits for making helpful recommendations that are appreciated by others, especially those who are well-versed in the subject.

We have a credits system for 2 simple reasons:

1.
All content is not equal, nor is your attention to it. A short listicle from a known misinformation source, that you skimmed, should not be worth the same as a long-form piece, from a reputable source, that you paid close attention to.

Ditto for your content contributions i.e. what you write and share should be able to be measured by quality feedback, not just quantity. Having a high ratio of helpfulness should matter more than a high ratio of viral hysteria.

In both cases, the difference should matter, and you should at least be aware of it. The fact it doesn't, and you're not, is a big reason the internet is a cesspool today.

2.
Yes, credits bring to mind academic or professional credentials, and this is intentional. People already get rewarded for doing readings, both in school and professionally for continuing learning - often with zero, or easily gamed, verification involved.

"How do you decide how many credits an article is worth?"

It is based on the length, complexity, contents (any media? What kind?), and the trustworthiness of the source. For the trustworthiness, we use the database from MediaBiasFactCheck.com. If a source has minimal bias, and is consistently factual, it offers the maximum amount of credits.

"What are all the options that appear above the bubble on content?"

These are the options that are available to you right away upon signing up:

- GIVE THANKS, which lets you give feedback, both to the person who recommended the article on Readocracy, and to the author when they claim their Readocracy account. There are 5 options: "This was helpful", "Great writing", "This changed my mind", "I strongly agree", and "Inspiring food for thought". This will also help curate content through these lenses for the rest of the community.

- RECOMMEND / FEATURE, which allows you to prominently feature articles in your profile, and also signals to your followers and the community that this is worth reading.

- ADD NOTE, which is self-explanatory. Notes can be public or private. When they are public. they are pinned on the content in your profile stream.

- SEE YOUR PROFILE, is a direct link to your profile.

- DON'T SORT THIS, lets you delete the read, so it isn't sorted at all.

There are the options you gain access to once you verify your account:

- ADD TO COLLECTION, lets you build collections of content you can optionally share anywhere else online. Think of it as a recommended reading list you can build on the go. Like Pinterest for reading online.

- SHARE, lets you send an article directly to the Reading Tray of any user you are connected to on Readocracy. Soon, you'll also be able to easily share to social media.

Finally, these are the options that will be coming soon:

- SHARE & DISCUSS (update to SHARE), will incorporate our new Reading Groups feature, which is a content-first, better organized form of group chat/ messaging. You will be able to share to a Reading Group to start or add to a discussion.

- MEMORIZE / SUMMARIZE, will let you summarize the article with a minimum of 500 characters. This helps your retention, and we will then use it to remind you of key points from your summary, helping move your learning from short term memory to long term memory.

Why is verification required? Simple. It's how we ensure Readocracy doesn't allow bots, trolls, and hucksters to unduly influence our community, either internally or externally. When it comes to these options, you'll notice some of them are inherently social, both within Readocracy and beyond. By ensuring those features are only accessible to people who are confirmed to be exactly who they say they are, we can eliminate abuse.

To learn more about this, see "Why do you require verification to gain access to all features?" under Other Questions.

"What if you're looking at questionable content?"

This is a pretty common question / concern we see, don't worry. Readocracy has a default blacklist which includes a database of sites it doesn't run on. This includes adult video, personal banking portals, and more. Also, the platform is entirely opt-out, so you can dismiss what gets sorted every time anyways, i.e. nothing is getting automatically/secretly/forcibly logged anyways.

That all said, maybe you are, in fact, an academic expert on the pornography industry (there are such things, believe it or not), in which case you would be welcome to adjust your black list and sort reading on the subject.

"Is attention knowledge? What about application?"

We don't expect our platform to replace practical experience, and we're also aware that what you pay attention to only tells us "likely knowledge" vs. "applied knowledge". So we're already looking at ways of addressing this. This includes the option to write a short summary to earn more credits and mark sorted reading as "applied" (this also helps retention, proving the point). Down the road we intend to allow optional, AI-driven quizzes on any piece of content.

Overall, our goal isn't to replace diplomas or school or anything of the sort, but to simply recognize the value of your time online - which today you have literally no way of quantifying and is exclusively valued and exploited by others instead (advertisers, clickbait farms, etc.)

That all said, we also strongly believe that the vast majority of formal education is broken and inadequate, and more accurately teaches you how to take tests, rather than how to understand and apply specific knowledge. Furthermore, the older you get, the more likely it is that recently picked up information is more reflective of what you "know" than anything you absorbed during your university/college degree.

"I'd rather read offline. Why credit for reading only online? How about books?"

We're fans of reading offline as well (our team actually has a bit of a book buying problem, we'll be the first to admit). This isn't so much about one being better than the other, it's about the fact that people are spending, on average, around 6 hours online per day. We simply believe that if you are spending that time, it should count for something when it can, instead of just padding advertisers' pockets. E.g. if you've read 200 articles on a certain subject - and we can help you prove it with Readocracy - that should count for something, and you should be able to leverage it. We're in a knowledge-driven economy after all.

Furthermore, while the foundation is online reading, we have just added a Bookshelf feature which lets you add books to your profile, and we are adding e-book support soon as well.

Lastly, everything we do is ultimately part of our overall mission to change the incentive mechanisms of the internet to reward quality attention and participation instead of mindless quantity. If our result in less time spent online, and more with physical books, we would be very happy with that!

"Does the product distinguish between quality of articles / journalism? Or does being well-read in anti-vaxxer sites produce as much credit as being well-read on scientific journals?"

Excellent question! It does differentiate quality vs. quantity for both attention and participation.

For attention, the credits are based on the length, density of information, type of content, and - most importantly - the source. MediaBiasFactcheck's comprehensive database is integrated and this helps define whether a source is worth full credits or is downgraded by being highly polarized, unreliable, etc. E.g. if something you read fell under the category of extremist propaganda or conspiracy, it would be worth zero credits. These ratings and the reasons behind them are available on everything you read once you're using Readocracy.

"Do you use eye or face tracking? If not, why not?"

We like to say we're the next best thing to camera-based measuring - which we don't use because we feel it would be far too invasive, privacy-wise. We are measuring behaviour patterns on content in a multi-layered way, both at the individual and network levels, which allow us to gauge with fairly high accuracy whether somebody is actually paying attention, and how intensely.

We believe trust and control are central to a healthy and sustainable relationship with our members and community. Eye tracking using cameras is:
- too invasive, requiring significant permissions and access.
- too polarizing, having been the subject of too many exploits.
- and too direct in terms of real life monitoring, rather than monitoring via indirect behaviour patterns. Behaviour monitoring inherently has more privacy built in, versus camera-based monitoring which follows behaviour but also your actual face and body.

In a nutshell, camera-based monitoring is not conducive to building trust, and requires more than is needed. We believe our methods are sufficiently granular, and in many cases actually more reliable as it relates to information interaction, without requiring overreach.

"What if I'm naturally a fast reader?"

Great question! We have some fast readers on our team, too, so we built a calibration tool that lets you better personalize Readocracy to your reading speed. It's included in all accounts :)

"How does verification prevent trolls, bots, spam?"

Bots, trolls, spammers, fake news peddlers, and inconsiderate behaviour all trace back to one factor: the ability to create fake profiles. This plays out in two ways. First, it means being able to create as many profiles as you want, and to keep creating others even when you face repercussions. Second, it means having zero traceable responsibility or accountability associated with your actions. By ensuring every profile that accesses our community features is traced to a real person, we can dramatically reduce the above forms of abuse.

"This isn't tracking all my browsing activity is it?"

No. Readocracy only saves what you sort using the extension.

When you install the browser extension, the browser asks you some variation of whether you are okay with the extension being able to "read and change all the data on the websites you visit". This isn't as bad as it sounds. The only option for us to provide the functionality of Readocracy is to always be *on*, but this doesn't mean we *are* always saving. To be able to let you claim credit for pages when you want to, the extension needs to have been analyzing, and *able* to save - however it's up to you whether you let it do so or you dismiss it.

"What are the rewards?"

The rewards are threefold, and a mix of literal and figurative:

1) Subject matter credits for your verified reading, that power your profile which you can embed on LinkedIn, your CV, and anywhere else you want to enforce your credibility on a subject/ in general.
2) Access. People who don't actually read the content can't participate. We reward and recognize people who bothered to inform themselves first with access to others like them. You'll deal with real, verifiably informed people, instead of bots and blowhards.
3) Lastly, we are lining up partnerships with organizations to have traditional real world rewards (like a perk or a discount relevant to the subject) if you're a top ranked reader on certain subjects each month.

"Will you have measured against people just idling for enough time or scrolling up and down an article to make it look like they didn't just read the headline?"

Yes, our technology is quite sophisticated and doesn't give you credits if you just leave the page open, or aimlessly scroll all over. The only way to earn full credits is to read like somebody who is actually reading. If somebody wants to fake that 1) they'll have to spend the time 2) it will get spotted pretty quickly by virtue of the public profiles.

"Can you turn it off if, say, you just want to share a satirical article for the headline?"

Even with auto-sorting turned on, you can dismiss any individual article whenever you want to. You are always totally in control of what sorts to your profile. Furthermore you could still sort this article, just do so to a Personal Subject, thus making it private on your profile (unless you explicitly recommend it).

You can also "Quick Sort" items if you just want to keep a tab on them, without earning credits. You just won't be able to recommend it to other users, except via Reading Collections.

"Why isn't it open to anyone/everyone?"

Trolls, bots, spammers, and hucksters are all not welcome on Readocracy. Readocracy is only for real people who value sincerely informing themselves, and who are well-intentioned.

If somebody enjoys knee-jerk or abusive comments, misinformation and clickbait, and all the usual spam, they can keep using the internet as-is, we don't aim to stop them. If you *don't* want those things, we have built Readocracy to keep them out and help you experience a more sane and constructive information experience.

Pricing and Plans

"How much does it cost?"

Readocracy is free for anyone to use, and will have a premium paid tier (currently planned for $9/month annually, $12/month month-to-month) to unlock additional features such as:

• archiving the original versions of whatever you sort, so that even if the original link stops working (as is so often the case), your sorted content is saved and searchable for life.
• expanded Personal Insights,
• seeing who visited your profile (from where, and what content seemed to matter for your visitors overall)
• custom Linkedin header photo
• if you write a lot, an included, integrated Readefined.com account to analyze your writing and traffic
• … and several other customization features.

The basics of crediting your reading, and having a personal, shareable profile, will always be free for everyone. Community Leaders who are consistently involved will have premium accounts at no cost.

If you have a team/business that wants to benefit from the enterprise version (extra features), that's paid for by the company at a per employee rate, and all employees/members automatically get a premium personal account as well.

"What is your business philosophy?"

We are a Canadian for-profit enterprise with strong social entrepreneurship elements. If we were an American corporation, we would probably be a B Corp. Our primary motivator for being for-profit instead of non-profit is the breadth and magnitude of what we'd like to accomplish, with Readocracy and with related tools and projects. We don't want to stunt the ceiling of our resources. It is less about the money than what we hope we can do with the money to better society.

"Who are you funded by?"

We are largely bootstrapped. Our founders are two brothers, and their (middle class) family very generously contributed essential support totalling nearly $120K CAD, using a significant portion of their personal savings to get us off the ground. We also received a pre-seed investment of $100K CAD from a Toronto-based family office, and a non-dilutive $100K grant from Toronto's DMZ (the world's #1 ranked university-based startup incubator) via their School of Journalism and the Facebook Journalism Project.

We will be raising a seed round, only from mission-aligned angels and pre-seed and seed stage investors with an interest in long term, sustainable businesses that have a positive impact and tackle wicked problems.

Other Questions

"This is an interesting concept, but what are the actual benefits?"

There are a lot of significant benefits. In a nutshell Readocracy can help you:
1. Get a job or keep your current one (yes, actually an employer will care, often a lot)
2. Be much more mindful of the time you spend online (and its influence on your mind)
3. Deal with less of a firehose of info online, and ensure you never deal with a troll or bot again if you're trying to have a thoughtful discussion.

So let's break that down:

1)
Your Readocracy profile can help you land a job, especially if you're traditionally under-qualified. If you're familiar with HR or recruiting, you'll know 3 things to be true:
- The traditional CV is not enough (easy to inflate its claims);
- It's extremely important to stand out from the mind-numbingly homogenous pile of cover letters and applications;
- It's almost guaranteed a digital/social media background check will be done on you.
Your Readocracy profile gives you an impressive, thoroughly data-supported, embeddable profile that helps significantly with all 3 points.

Furthermore, as an applicant, there is this fun little catch-22 regarding degrees: when you first get them, you lack the experience; when you've had them for some time, their value/relevance is considered reduced. Readocracy helps you prove your passions and likely knowledge (more on this in a second) beyond what your degree can say (very little). We have already seen this approach land some impressive jobs that otherwise seemed out of reach.

In terms of your current job, this is precisely why many companies want Readocracy's team version: right now all they understand about their employees is what's on their CV and LinkedIn, which usually totally misses the point of emerging or changing passions, and any additional professional knowledge - especially as you grow older and you're further removed from your degree. Your degree can actually start pigeonholing you! Readocracy helps employers understand, recognize, and grow the broader professional learning and interests of their team - which is basically a life and death business matter for a variety of reasons, including that 94% of employees are less likely to quit when their company invests in learning/growth.

2)
We guarantee it will help most users become much more mindful of how they spend their time online. The average person spends just over 6 hours online /day. Yes, 1/4 of our days. A lot of that time is spent consuming information that shapes our emotions and outlook. Readocracy not only helps you easily catalogue that on-the-go ("organizing your mind") but helps you understand its influence. Your Personal Insights show you time spent with individual sources, authors, and the sentiment and politicized keywords identified (e.g. is what you're reading consistently negative? Is it skewing one way or another politically?)

3)
Thanks to our platform only allowing 100% verified members, not allowing bot integrations (no auto-sharing, auto-following, auto-commenting), being optimized to reward quality over quantity, and using a double filter on what reaches your feed, you deal with a significantly reduced and more reliable information stream.

More importantly, in our upcoming "Get Me Caught Up" feature, we let you define your own algorithm so that you'll also know *why* you're seeing what you're seeing. The other benefit of this is that when you want to engage in conversation, you don't have to deal with trolls or bots: participation is rewarded for quality over quantity as well, and you can immediately get a sense of who is either well-informed and/or well-respected on the subject at hand. So, yes, these labels do appear next to your social posts, and this guides how prominently your comment is seen. We are firm in our belief that there is a big difference between free speech and free reach.

"What's the point / Why should I care about getting credit for my attention?"

You spend between 3 and 9 hours online per day (6h for the average person). You can get nothing for that time, and let advertisers be the only ones who ruthlessly mine and profit from your attention - or you can start benefiting personally and controlling what that data says about you. That's the point of Readocracy.

Attention to information is most closely associated with learning, not advertising. Readocracy helps you turn your attention online into learning credits you can use to prove your credibility on any subject. Right now your time online doesn't count for anything. You have no way of proving and presenting that you've spent that time to, say, read 1,000 articles on Finance, or Biology, or Marketing, or whatever it may be you're really interested in. Maybe it's Funny Cats or Internet Culture.

Why does that matter?
1) if you're applying for a job at The Cheezburger Network, for example (the network that basically made cats synonymous with the internet), you can bet that seeing a profile that proves and showcasing your commitment to these subject would go a long way for a job application. This is especially important for new graduates who lack experience and need some way to prove they're truly informed and committed, and for people moving laterally who lack official credentials. We've already seen this work multiple times.
2) The internet has absolutely no filter. Being a troll or a bot doesn't limit how widely your comments are seen or how seriously unsuspecting people take them. Through Readocracy you can see how well-read or well-respected somebody is when they comment, and those comments surface first.
3) The internet is a black hole, and it's easy to spend hours on things you never even planned to. Some people call that infobesity, junk for the mind/time. Readocracy helps you easily become more aware of your consumption. Like Fitbit for your online attention.

"How secure is my data on Readocracy / why should I trust you with my data?"

We have already processed almost 100 million page views with our attention tracking technology. More importantly, our team has over 20 years of experience building and managing online communities and networks, including successfully supporting over 500,000 users, some of them requiring the storage of such sensitive information as social insurance numbers. All account data on Readocracy is encrypted, such that even when our team goes in for necessary repairs, they are unable to identify users except with explicit information from the user themselves. Furthermore our data is stored in AWS, and also co-located in the same server facilities as IBM and other world class technology companies.

"Why do you require verification to gain access to all features?"

Simple: to keep our community free of trolls, bots, spam, and also make it more respectful, we need to make sure that every profile belongs to a real person, using their real personal details. Without this step, it becomes very, very easy for "bad actors" (those looking to exploit our network and your attention) to infiltrate us and turn it into a noisy mess like the existing social networks.

How does this prevent trolls, bots, spam?

Bots, trolls, spammers, fake news peddlers, and inconsiderate behaviour all trace back to one factor: the ability to create fake profiles. This plays out in two ways. First, it means being able to create as many profiles as you want, and to keep creating others even when you face repercussions. Second, it means having zero traceable responsibility or accountability associated with your actions. By ensuring every profile that accesses our community features is traced to a real person, we can dramatically reduce the above forms of abuse.

"You reclaim your attention by shutting off your devices. How are you helping?"

Our team are big believers in mindfulness as well. We all practice it to some extent. That said, being online is inevitable in our modern, information-driven society and economy. How did you end up reading this, after all?

The question is, are we going to make that inevitable time online mindless, or mindful? Our mission is to do the latter. And a big part of that mission is making sure your attention provides you with personal benefits and insights, rather than being ruthlessly mined by others, as the status quo dictates. That is, precisely making sure it becomes more than just an externalized commodity.

"I just look at memes. Can I get credit?"

We actually do have that as a subject on Readocracy. So if that was true - that you actually studied memes and meme culture - you would be recognized as such!

"Can't somebody just build a bot to game your system, or lie about the subjects they're spending time on?"

Given your profile is highly visible, falsely crediting articles you haven't read has a high likelihood of backfiring on you when somebody asks you about those articles at your next networking event or professional function. Also:

1) We are already monitoring for a variety of bot indicators across the network.
2) We also automatically scan sorted content against the subject it is sorted to, to check for consistency. Once enough articles are flagged, we investigate.
3) By not allowing any bots, and all attention being verified, it means that each user is capped at only 24 hours of hypothetical attention in a day, with studies showing the average time is around 3 hours on content specifically. This makes it fairly easy to spot those trying to game the system.

"Why is there a waiting list?"

1) Products that are mainstream undergo extensive testing before they are released to the general public. This is what we are doing, to ensure that when it is open to everyone, it has the best chance of being appreciated and spreading.

2) We also know it is very important for a community to have a strong foundation, so we are making sure the first batches of users are those who are most clearly passionate and supportive of the mission, and can invite others who are as well. As with any group, the most passionate ones set the tone and direction. Given our whole philosophy is "quality over quantity", this is especially important for us.

"Are you GDPR/CCPA/etc. compliant?"

Yes. Readocracy is explicitly designed with the principles and motivations of these laws in mind. Every piece of data saved through Readocracy requires the users explicit confirmation, while logged in, thus making all data collected more actively defined than any other platform, and well beyond the requirements of these laws. Our team is also appropriately staffed, and structured, to fully align with these laws.

"Are you replacing degrees? / Credits don't help in regulated industries!"

1)
We're not suggesting you don't need a degree. We simply believe you are more than your degree, which is agreed upon, and an unfulfilled issue of recognition, by the vast majority of both job seekers and recruiters.

Most people have passions and deep competencies that aren't reflected in their degree, and which become ever more pronounced over time. There is also the well-known little catch-22 regarding degrees: when you first get them, you lack the experience to make them credible; when you've had them for some time, their value/relevance is dramatically reduced in comparison with recent indicators of competence and commitment.

Readocracy helps you prove your passions and likely knowledge beyond what your degree can say in those instances (very little). We have already seen this approach land some impressive jobs that otherwise seemed out of reach, especially for people who are moving laterally in their careers, which is increasingly common.

2)
If you're familiar with CEUs (Continuing Education Units, or equivalent, such as PDUs), you'll know that there is learning people in virtually all regulated industry need to do every year to maintain their professional certification. Your degree is insufficient without this learning. CEUs in many cases can be approved relevant reading - and this is currently certified with archaic, low-tech, easily manipulated, honour-based systems. We're working with the necessary partners to eventually be an approved way of better/easier/reliable accreditation for these CEUs/PDUs.

"Do we really need another classification system for people? Could be dystopian!"

We can appreciate your concern, given the way the internet and society are going. Hopefully our Mission (Readocracy.com/mission) and Guiding Principles (Readocracy.com/guiding-principles) make it clear we have good intentions.

More directly related to your point, we are believers in the idea that there is a very big difference between free speech, and free reach, namely anyone can contribute but how visible it is should be earned.

That is not how the internet functions now, which has turned it into a nightmare that tends to reward the loudest and most divisive voices and perspectives. Or as Isaac Asimov put it, "Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge. '"

To address that, we are simply trying to add a layer that lets people justify their credibility on subjects, and rewards the effort involved, while generally making people more mindful about their time online along the way.

This isn't meant to rank people in an arbitrary, opaque, or exploitative way. To the contrary, it's meant to increase transparency and empower every individual to own, control, learn from, and benefit from their attention data, which is otherwise ruthlessly mined and sold off under the status quo.

"Sounds like another tool to collect information on Internet users' attention spans!"

We are literally fighting *against* the trend of hoovering up and exploiting your data.
It's the entire reason we exist.

Our business model is not built on advertising or selling your data at all. Instead of helping you collect your data so that *we* can somehow exploit it/ sell it down the river, we are helping you collect that data so that *you* can leverage it.

The average person gets nothing for their time online: no data, no feedback or insights, no evidence of their learning or helpfulness. The current system doesn't care about giving you that because it only cares about your eyeballs and cheap attention and reactions. Our business model instead relies on giving you those benefits, which in turn we offer subscriptions, mostly for teams that can afford it, and optional premium accounts from individuals (it's free to use otherwise). It's why what we're doing is quite radical, and not appreciated by some of the folks/groups who rely on "business as usual".

Our Guiding Principles reinforce this: Readocracy.com/guiding-principles

"So I can finally get recognition for all I've learnt about funny cats online?"

All jokes aside, maybe you're really an expert on cats! Or memes! We've already got, in their personal showcases, vintage keyboard aficionados, French bulldog experts, and more.

People seem to forget that nobody likes an automaton. Just about everyone, both professionally and personally, is looking for well-roundedness and personality. Readocracy profiles allow you to safely and selectively showcase both your professional passions, and your personal ones as well. Sometimes these unique combinations even become unbeatable advantages on the market, when somebody needs your special cross-over of insights.

"No trolls? Isn't the fastest way to get trolls to say there aren't any?"

Readocracy isn't your average platform. We make it much, much harder. Virtually impossible to get in, or last long if you do, if you're a troll or bot. We're not just blowing hot air, we promise. (That said we have definitely noticed that trolls don't take too kindly to our value proposition, which to us is quite affirming.)

Multimedia Support

"So this is just for reading? Not watching video, or podcasts?"

Not entirely! Readocracy's algorithm takes into account your media attention within an article, such as images, video, and audio. We are also already working on support for crediting stand-alone video and audio on partner platforms. Those will include subtle prompts that double-check both attention and comprehension.

Customization

"Can you help me take a great profile cover photo?"

Our goal is to eventually host monthly headshot sessions you can take advantage of if you're a verified member. In the meantime, here are some tips that can make it easy to get really good results. Bonus: it makes for a fun little activity with a friend or family member. Maybe you can take photos for each other! Maybe they need a Readocracy account, too!? Okay, before we get carried away...

To begin with, there are 2 types of photos you can take: a portrait (headshot-style), or a setting photo, where most of your body is visible.

Here is our CTO, Matei, with a portrait-style photo as his profile cover: www.readocracy.com/matei
Here is our CEO, Mario, with a setting-style photo on his profile cover: www.readocracy.com/mario

Here's how you can get a great photo of either style. You'll need 4 things. (We've also attached a set of examples below.)

1. A friend or family member to help you take the photo.
2. Early morning or afternoon daylight. You should take this photo in a setting well-illuminated by daylight. Either outside, or a room with ample windows. Avoid noon time, it can be too bright.
3. A textured, repeating or consistent background, such as a red brick wall, a wall with a mural or interesting wallpaper, a wooden fence, a bookcase, or a tall garden hedge - or anything else similar you can think of. OR, a large space with repeating patterns: a library hall with desks, a row of bookcases in a library, a train station hall, a lecture hall, a forest or forest path, etc. (Yes, we know this might sound like a treasure hunt. Who says we can't have a little fun here?)
4. A DSLR camera, or a smartphone with a decent camera (the newer and higher the model number, the better, generally). Remember, it doesn't have to be yours. If you don't have either, one of your friends or family members probably does. Some public libraries even have DSLR cameras you can sign out. If you still can't get ahold of somebody with either, don't worry. These instructions still work well enough, as long as you have a digital camera of some sort (whether phone or otherwise).
*Make sure that the camera you're using, in its current mode, is taking high resolution photos, above 1400 pixels along at least one side. This should be standard, but better to make sure before you dive in. You can take a test shot, and then check the details on the photo to confirm (you should be able to access the details via an options menu on the photo). If the resolution is low, you can almost always change the settings in the camera or in your phone's camera app (either directly in the app, or from your phone's central settings.)

Have all of the above gathered/ scoped out? Perfect.

Let's start with Setting-style, because it's easier:

- Use one of the large/repeating space examples, such as sitting at a desk in a library room full of desks, or standing at the front of a lecture hall, or standing in the middle of a forest path with trees on either side - or any of the other examples mentioned earlier!
- Make sure the light is coming from behind the person taking the photo, or at the very least from the side i.e. the light source is in front of you / illuminating your face, never behind you, illuminating your back. The exception: if you have a late afternoon sun coming through, you can play with the light coming from behind you to take a silhouette shot (i.e. the light source is in front of the camera instead).
- Get the person taking the photo to frame you as shown in some of the examples below. Your full body should be visible in the photo, and you should be centred.
- Take a few shots...
>>> Looking preoccupied. If you're at a desk, look like you're working, or reading something, or explaining something to somebody. If you're on a forest path, look like you're looking up and to the side, at a bird in the trees. Etc.
>>> In action. If you're on a forest path, jump! If you're in a library row, walk slowly toward the camera, or be taking a book slowly off the shelf.
>>> Focused casual. Look straight at the camera, yet looking casual - hands in pockets, arms crossed, or with your head tilted slightly. You can keep a straight face, or smile.
>>> Getting creative! Large spaces make for interesting opportunities to play with symmetry and framing.
- Have a whole bunch of photos in the above style, against a repeating background that's well lit? Awesome! The last step is helpful, but optional - find it after the Portrait-style instructions below!

Portrait-style:

- Use one of the close-up background examples, such as a red brick wall, bookcase, etc. Either stand directly in front of it, with your back against it; or as far away as you can while having the entire background made of the object e.g. if it's a hedge, stand such that in the photo the entire background behind you is still the green of the hedge, edge to edge, top to bottom.
-If the phone you're using has Portrait Mode in the camera app, use it! It usually makes a noticeable difference.
- Make sure the light is coming from behind the person taking the photo, i.e. the light source is in front of you / illuminating your face (not behind you, illuminating your back).
- Have them stand close enough such that you're framed approximately as shown in the photo examples shown below. You can mix it up between Close-Up and Torso.
- Take a few photos looking...
>>> Serious/thoughtful. Look deep into the lens of the camera, and think of one of the most impactful moments of your life - really zone out thinking about it. Take 30 seconds if you need to. Take it seriously. Be booking at the camera for some of the photos, and away/ past the camera for others;
>>> Casual happy. Try to let your muscles relax, and look into the camera lens the same way you'd look at something that makes you happy - maybe a puppy, or a baby;
>>> Silly/energetic. Look up a silly joke online, memorize it, and tell it to the person taking the photo. While you're both inevitably smiling stupidly/authentically, make sure they're taking a lot of photos of you :)
- Have a whole bunch of photos in the above style, against a repeating background that's well lit? Awesome! Last step below is optional.

Optional last step, that can usually help take your photo up a notch: pick your favourite photos, and then choose the edit option on them in your phone (if they're on a DSLR, download them and transfer them to your phone and you can edit them just the same). If possible, make a duplicate of the photo so you still have the original to fallback to. Then, if the edit option allows, you'll want to slightly tweak the sliders that pop up for contrast, sharpness, shadows, and colour balance. Note: don't overdo it, because all of those things can make the photo grainy once it's full size on your cover.

That's it! Hopefully this was helpful. If nothing else hopefully it results in some laughs and a fun adventure with a friend or family member :)

The Firefox browser extension is currently in development. If you’d like to be notified as soon as it’s ready, please let us know below.