What is Perusen?
Perusen is the social encyclopedia, a new platform to articulate, organize and share our collective knowledge. Perusen combines the function of an encyclopedia, which is an organized record of knowledge from various sources, with the interactivity of a social platform, allowing users to contribute their ideas and opinions (not just facts) and to vote on, follow and share the posts they like. Users open up topics about anything and write posts, which are then voted on by the community and presented on the front page. Voting is constantly going on, so content is always being shuffled to reflect what users are excited about. Posts are individual entries to a topic, not replies to comment threads, and must contain meaningful content, not entries like “I like this.” Volunteer moderators ensure that the website remains functional and enjoyable for the community.
So, You’re a Forum?
Yes and no. Yes, we allow anyone to write about any topic they wish, include images and text and share and vote on what they like, but we are not a forum because we do not allow users to respond directly to each other. While the dialogue in forums is engaging, it’s easy to get lost sifting through both meaningful and hollow comments in endless threads. Instead, we seek individual contributions from each user that are statements rather than replies to others.
Who can use Perusen?
Anyone can browse the content of the site, without an account and anyone can contribute content once they sign up!
What kinds of content can users submit?
Users can write about anything they want. Since we are an encyclopedia, our posts must contain meaningful written content and must be individual posts rather than replies to the posts of other users. Posts may also contain an image – it is not necessary, but it is encouraged if the image supports the text.
How does voting work?
Users with accounts will be able to favorite, upvote and downvote posts. A favorite is worth +2 points, an upvote is worth +1 point and a downvote is worth -1 point. A post’s overall score is the total of its favorites, upvotes and downvotes. Images are voted on independently of their posts, and can either be upvoted or downvoted.
Why are images voted on separately from the posts they are within?
We want each title to have a cover image that best represents it, and since we know that the creator of a topic may not provide the best image (or no image at all), we have users independently vote on the images within any post in the topic. The image with the highest net score of upvotes and downvotes will be the cover image for that topic.
How is the content organized?
When users want to create a topic, they must first search whether there is a similar topic already being used. If so, they will be directed to write their post under the existing topic. Otherwise, they can create their own. Within each post, users will create internal links for words and phrases so that the content is cross-referenced to other topics within the site.
What if I create an internal link within my post that isn’t its own topic yet?
Well, then that link will go to a page that is empty (for now) and the topic will go to the curiosity box.
What is the curiosity box?
The curiosity box is full of wishes – It’s essentially a collection of all the topics that do not have their own posts, so it includes those topics that have internal links from other topics’ posts, as well as requests from users. Users just need to visit the curiosity box to add a topic that they would like to see written about, and hopefully, some other users will come along and fulfill their curiosity.
Do users who fulfill wishes by writing topics from the curiosity box have any incentive to do so?
Yes – since the curiosity box is full of topics that the community would like links for, users who create a topic from it get extra points for their user rating within the community.
How are users rated and does this rating mean anything?
Users are rated according to an algorithm that looks at the number of posts they make and topics they open, whether they fulfill topics in the curiosity box, and how many favorites, upvotes, downvotes, and shares for their posts they have garnered from the community. This translates to a star system, where users can get anywhere from 1-5 stars. Now, it doesn’t really “mean” anything, in the existential sort of way – it’s just a badge of pride within the community.
How many points equals a star in the five-star rating system?
How do users interact with each other?
Besides voting on each others’ posts, you can also follow users that you’d like to hear more from, and when you do, whenever they make a new post, it will show up in your activity stream.
Is Perusen available in languages other than English?
Not at this time. If we expand to a large enough audience, then we would love to have other language options for the site.
What does “Perusen” mean?
Our name is a play on the word, peruse, which means to read something carefully or thoroughly and since our focus is to have a compendium of social knowledge available for users to delve deep into, we thought it a fitting basis for our name. But, the fact that peruse is often misused to mean the exact opposite, to read something casually, makes it even better, since we know that many of our users will visit the site and not scrutinize every post of every topic. And, we can call the users, perusers, eh!