Gather round everyone because I have some news to share with all of you.
About a month ago I added the Spotback widget to one of my sites. This widget allows any visitor to rate the content on a site (after putting in a code number) as well as add tags. After I installed it I messed around with it and kept thinking to myself, "this thing would be awesome if only there was a central website that gathered all of these votes and showed people the real hot articles on the web." Well, the wait is over, Spotback is now out of beta and all those votes are being tabulated on a central site.
The Spotback home page is rather barren right now but I'm sure that will change once more people sign up. Speaking of which... You might want to do that right now before someone steals your online identity and registers with your branded name.
An interesting twist on toolbars is Spotbacks "drag this onto your toolbar" rating button for Firefox users. With Spotback you do not need to load up a toolbar to rate sites.
They way it works is very simple, you just drag a button from their web page onto your browser and, when you are on a page you want to rate you just click the button. This then brings you to a page on Spotback where you can apply your rating. After rating, Spotback sends you back to the page you were reading.
All they need now is a good front page that aggregates all of the highest rated content found by Spotback members.
If you do not want to register you can still vote as an anonymous user using the same method you used before.
I'm real excited about this as it blends social bookmarking with social voting. My profile page on Spotback tracks all of my votes (i.e. bookmarks) and allows me to change my votes at any time. When I click on someone else's profile, not only does it show me what they voted on (but not their rating) but, if we voted on the same thing it shows me my rating. This allows me to quickly figure out if another user and I go to the same sites.
I'm going to be playing around more and more with Spotback and I will report my findings.