Sure, sorry about that @vbuterin
DApps are ranked by whoever has staked the most, it is as simple as that. With one, small twist: the more you stake to get ranked highly, the easier it is to influence that position, should people so want to.
(i) Participants are developers who want to see their DApp get ranked highly so people use it.
a) Developers can stake SNT (really, this is a general solution that only requires some fixed, fungible limit against which to optimise, so it could be ANY fixed, fungible asset or thing that people value).
b) Users can upvote or downvote their DApps, though I don’t see this happening too much, because it costs them and there is NO INCENTIVE for users, unless they’re feeling super motivated to make sure some DApp gets ranked less/more highly and are willing to pay to make that happen.
c) Users simply benefit as a side-effect of the optimal curation of information, much like they do now.
The big difference here is that, instead of having limited insight into PageRank and what you are being shown on your search and why, you KNOW that the DApps that appear first are those who have paid the most.
People ask, “But, but, but shouldn’t the DApps that appear the first be, like, the most useful or provide the most value to the community or something?” Yes, they absolutely should be.
As we all know here, the problem is with defining “value to the community”. Is that downloads, stars, usage metrics, customer feedback? All of these things are suboptimal and easy to manipulate.
The system I propose quite literally ranks the DApps that appear first by whichever ones provides most actual, literal value to the community, because a % of what is staked (defined by the curve I found, not by any human), stays staked forever, meaning there is less SNT in circulation, meaning that the value of each individual SNT goes up, meaning that the developers who do pay to get their DApp ranked highly are - again, quite literally - providing value to the community of users and getting ranked appropriately on it. I believe it’s similar to what you wrote about here.
a) The user of the app - NO INCENTIVES, this is the sociological factor that makes it all work. People are always saying “We need to get the community more involved! Let’s incentivise them to curate information FOR us, so we don’t have to do it”. No! That’s not the point of mechanism design as applied to cryptoeconomics. The point is to create systems that use mathematics and/or cryptography so that NO-ONE has undue influence over the system. It costs users to vote, so they would only do so to complain (if they feel really strongly), or donate to/protect an app that is being trolled. #EffectiveDirectCharity.
b) The developer is incentivised by appearing higher in the Dapp store, and by being able to receive back at least 52% (in this curve) of the SNT they staked if they get trolled, do something the community doesn’t like resulting in downvotes, OR do something awesome that the community likes, and wants to donate to. Complaining and donating are the same economic signal with signs reversed, so we can treat them the same mathematically if we set things up correctly.