The concept is simple; A member creates a campaign, and participants pledge to take action only when enough other people have pledged to do the same thing. If the tipping point is reached, members agree to boycott a product, donate money to the cause, or take some form of civil action. You can review all the campaigns, and decide to participate or not.
If the site becomes popular, one of the main concerns might be the cencorship. I couldn’t find any information if ThePoint.com will use any cencorship towards any campaigns in the future or not. This part from the Terms & Conditions Page may give us some idea:
The Point may remove any Content and The Point accounts at any time for any reason (including, but not limited to, upon receipt of claims or allegations from third parties or authorities relating to such Content), or for no reason at all. To report Terms of Service abuse, please email: email@example.com
TechCrunch points that ThePoint.com has already raised $2.5 million from angel investors, and will soon try to raise more in a VC round. I’m very curious about the monetization techniques they will use. I will definitely write a followup.
Andrew Mason, the founder of ThePoint.com, has posted this comment at TechCrunch after a question raised by a reader about the similarity of ThePoint.com to PledgeBank.com ;
Pledgebank is a great site and shares the same basic â€œIâ€™ll do something, but only if others cooperateâ€ model, but beyond that, there are more differences than similarities. First, The Point is largely focused on â€œdo this, or elseâ€ campaigns â€” ultimatums targeted at a third party that are designed to, once they tip, quickly force a change by creating an unendurable financial stress. For many campaigns on The Point, the tipping point is something that can be quantified â€” itâ€™s the point where the cost to a target of the group action becomes greater than the benefits of not changing. The tipping point of a campaign on The Point shouldnâ€™t be determined by a prediction of how many people are likely to join, rather, a calculation of how many people are needed to force change. On The Point, itâ€™s less important that a campaign tip than it is for people to have the sense that they will only be asked to take action when the conditions exist for a combined action to solve their shared problem. We also have an awesome feature called conditional anonymity â€” your identity isnâ€™t revealed until the campaign tips â€” that makes The Point a singularly powerful tool for forming issue-specific workplace unions.
Overall, I like the idea and the site (usability, design, and concept is pretty good). I will definitely be checking the campaigns, and will participate.