Deskarma lets professionals share their business expertise and earn, err, karma

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Deskarma, which describes itself as a “business expertise sharing platform”, launches in beta today. It’s designed to enable professionals to share their “business insights”, with the motivation to do so partly driven by the user’s ability to build an online reputation as an expert via the site’s karma-based points system.

Basically, users can write posts, comment, and answer questions, while the quality of their contributions are peer rated so that the more interesting content and users become more visible. Related to this is the fact that Deskarma doesn’t sit behind a walled garden and therefore is indexed by Google et al, meaning that a user’s newly forged reputation might end up appearing in search results. That’s the idea anyway.

The social aspect of Deskarma extends to a social network of sorts; users can follow one another or follow a particular topic, such as ‘marketing’ or something more specific like ‘contract negotiation’. That’s not dissimilar to how many professionals use Twitter or the Q&A aspect of LinkedIn, two potential indirect and direct competitors.

On that note, Deskarma co-founder, Mark O’Neill, says that LinkedIn is “great as your online Rolodex, the ‘who you know’ of your online presence, but individuals also need to demonstrate ‘what they know’. An effective way to do this is to discuss business issues online, yet not everyone feels comfortable starting their own blog.”

And it’s certainly true that the groups and Q&A functionality of LinkedIn is underutilized by many of its users and most professionals don’t have the time or inclination to commit to writing a blog, so perhaps Deskarma can fill the gap. Presuming it does actually exists, of course.

The company’s closest competitor is probably Brazen Careerist which focuses on the Gen Y demographic whereas I’m told Deskarma is targeting itself more as “a home to business people in their 30s and 40s”.

  • Deskarma, New Experts Question and Answer Website | Claude Penland – Webmaster & Actuary

    […] which describes itself as a “business expertise sharing platform”, launches in beta today. It’s designed to enable professionals to share their “business insights”, with the […]

  • Olly

    Find it quite interesting… I have been posting & commenting… works quite well. Think it would work really well for topics that companies find it difficult to fill – for example, how do you manage employees that don’t have the same level of motivation as you? A company is unlikely to cover something so direct, yet its very important to share knowledge on such topics… could be great for the workplace

  • Scatt

    Good to see a business ap around content and not just collecting names like badges. Need more like this, it have to be the 3.0’s enterprise future.

  • Nick

    Building online brand reputation via karma points is a great concept. This gives a different dynamic to something like Linked In. There is a lot of mileage with this idea.

    • Mikkel

      @Nik – Don’t see the benefit over being on LinkedIn. Linkedin you can see where people have worked this is just what they say, people say all sorts of stuff.

  • Al

    I’ve been signed up for a few weeks and find Deskarma pretty addictive! There are some interesting people and highly relevant topics and tagging a link to your profile onto your email signature is a great (and subtle) way to show those you want to impress that you know your stuff….!

  • DesperateScouseWife

    I’ve been onto the site to have a dig around – what is different about it this is that it keeps people’s profiles and relevant and fluid. LinkedIn is great for connections but the vast majority of users profiles and interaction is completely dormant. At least this way it gives people the opportunity to have an opinion on areas of interest and to build a community this way. Nice idea, will be looking at it with interest…

  • TD

    I’ve been using it for a few weeks and like the format. Where it scores over sites like LinkedIn is that it allows users to share thoughts, knowledge and experience in an interactive and organic way – thus it is a really useful tool for business people to build their online profile.

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