Robert Louis Stevenson → Treasure Island → Chapter 3 → The Black Spot.
‘And now, matey, did that doctor say how long I was to lie here in this old berth?’
‘A week at least,’ said I.
‘Thunder!’ he cried. ‘A week! I can’t do that; they’d have the black spot on me by then...’
‘But what is the black spot, captain?’ I asked.
‘That’s a summons, mate. I’ll tell you if they get that. But you keep your weather-eye open, Jim, and I’ll share with you equals, upon my honour.’
Robert Louis Stevenson coined the term "black spot" in his novel "Treasure Island" as a symbolic verdict of guilt for pirates, and we generalized "spot" to represent a perspective from where a subject is being observed. So, although "blackspots" (yeah, we made it one word) are for us still verdicts of guilt that can be "tipped" to targets, human or otherwise, we introduced "goldspots" as verdicts of excellence and "lovespots" as verdicts of infatuation. It is the collection of all spots what we call the spottiness and it's our ultimate goal to provide an meaningful answer to the question "What's the spottiness of X?"
A spot is a snapshot of what somebody thinks about something identifiable, whether concrete or abstract, fictional or real. Spots are anonymous, live in the Internet for a few years, and can transcend the virtual world by flying to the hands of somebody as a letter. Each spot is an observation of its target from either a good, bad, or love perspective.
We want to know what's on your mind. Your perception of reality. Your truth. We think that you'll be more comfortable sharing your thoughts if your persona is not disclosed. We don't want to know who you are but we are very interested in knowing what you think.
Maybe. Our value--and our challenge--is precisely our capacity to filter out the untrue. We believe in human innate good nature and we bet that the truth will eventually emerge in spite of some ill-intentioned posts.
We reserve the right to remove comments that denote too much of a bad taste or that don't follow a common sense honor code. If you think that your comment was deleted by error, please contact us with details.
Once you create a spot we give you the chance to take things to the next level: we can send letters to the target of your spot and copy others.
Spot letters are physical letters with the notification containing the text of the spot printed on stationary corresponding to the type of spot, so that anybody that sees them will immediately know what they are about. You, the author, remain anonymous.
There is no cost for sending each of these letters. Once your spot is approved, we'll send the letter within one business day using regular mail.
Receiving a physical letter has a more powerful effect than receiving an email. Besides, it is easier to ignore emails than letters, especially if by looking at the letter you know it is something unique and important.
If you don't have the email of the target, spot letters are an excellent tool to ensure that the target knows about the spot.
First, identify yourself as the author of the spot by providing the tracking code that you received when you created the spot. Then, click on "Send Anonymous Letter" in the spot page.
Sending a spot is a convenient way for you to send anonymous emails and letters. But more important, a spot is kept online, searchable, for up to 3 years. By sharing your thoughts through spots, you become a sensor that provides society with feedback at a larger scale.
Targets should have the chance to respond. When you identify the recipient of a letter as the target of the spot, we will include in the letter a code that the target can use to reply, identifying the answer as a target's comment.
If you have letters in your basket and you log in, you tell us that you wrote those letters. That's something we don't want to know because we are very serious about your anonymity.
Yes, but before we show you the login page we erase all your session footprints, so we can't know who you are.
If you received a spot via email or regular mail and you were signaled as the target of the spot by its author, then you'll receive a "Target Tracking Code" that you can use to comment online about the spot as its target. You don't have to login if you have such code.
The Spottiness team reevaluated your spot after it was published and determined that it did not comply with the rules of your spot type. We at Spottiness acknowledge that this is a subjective decision and apologize for the inconveniences that our actions may cause. If you think that our decision is erroneous, please send us a message including your tracking code and your reasons. We will review your spot again and publish it if we deem it appropriate.
We define spottiness as a property of things, whether living or inanimate. It is an indicator of the average perception about a thing, built from the set of spots aimed to it. For those with a taste for physics, here is an example: spottiness is to spots what temperature is to molecules.
We don't know yet. Understanding and moderating what people anonymously write so that the truth emerges, is a difficult and controversial problem. Yet, there is a lot of value in what we're doing, if we do it right. We believe that most of us have an innate need to express ourselves freely and this is the tool we built to facilitate it.
A lovespot is a confession of love. It is you venting a crush. It is how you soothe the anguish of understanding that there is an insurmountable distance between that other person and you. It is how you start building up your courage until it reaches a point where you don't mind the consequences of uttering your feelings face to face. It is how you give signals to that other person, gauge the response, and plan the next move.
Timidity is not an obstacle to reveal your romantic feelings. To those that engender passion in you, tip the lovespot.
A goldspot is a publication of excellence, an anonymous recognition of good work or good behavior. Goldspots are like thank-you notes without a sender. They fall from the sky to attest that your efforts have an impact and are appreciated. They touch the few workers that do most of the work or those that give a helping hand just for the sake of it. They encourage those that don't give up, the doers, the ones who care. They also touch companies with great customer service, restaurants with great food, schools that educate, the beautiful, the elegant, the courteous, the useful, the outstanding, the nice.
If you want to make somebody's day, if you want to elicit smiles and remind people how appreciated they are, tip them the goldspot.
A blackspot is a revelation of flaws. It is an assessment that turned out unfavorable and publicizing it will probably help correcting or avoiding problems. Blackspots act as social negative feedbacks that boost society's convergence to a better state. The set of blackspots associated with a target determine its negative profile: what the world has seen of the target's dark side.
Through blackspots you'll find the inconvenient traits of this person you're considering hiring. You'll know about the dissatisfaction of the employees of this company that calls itself "a family" and is offering you a job. You'll see the problems that are holding back your organization and nobody points out openly. You'll find the utter incompetence of a government agency, the dishonesty of a dentist or a politician, the missing empathy of a doctor, the customer service joke, the horrible restaurant, the crook, the villain, the low quality, the lack of taste, the mediocre, the atrocious, the bad.
If you want to be heard by the offender and the world, but for any reason you should remain anonymous, tip the blackspot. Blackspots, like all types of spots, are searchable and kept online for up to 3 years.