The new Whuffie? — Dapsem's iPhone app lets you Dap people and things

We wrote about Dapsem when they showed off their to-be-launched iPhone app at Techonomy3 in Tel Aviv a few weeks ago. I was impressed by the simplicity of the app, which simply allows you to give a maximum of three ‘daps’ (like a Facebook Like) a day to something or someone you want to praise or just acknowledge.

It is a stupidly simple concept but one which has lots of potential to scale and become another kind of reputation system. It’s now live in the app store so check it out [iTunes link]. Writing LinkedIn Recommendations for people or reviews of Yelp is just too hard – Dapping someone with Dapsem is easy.

A quick culture lesson for anyone not aware. To ‘Dap’ someone is to ‘fist-bump’ them, a la Michelle and Barack Obama in a famous move during the last US election. It’s about giving someone some appreciation or respect.

Dapsem could create the kind of economy that the Whuffie Bank tried to kick start but this time is a far more natural manner. Why not “Daps’em” instead of just Tweeting you like someone or some thing? Dapsem is specifically about praising or acknowledging something – and its easy to Tweet that out or Facebook it.

How it works: You log into the app via Facebook Connect. To Dap something you just type what it is you are Dapping, add a category and then Dap. The dap goes to Dapsem but can be distributed across to other networks like Twitter. You only get three chances to Dap something a day, to prevent people gaming the system, but if you are very active and people Dap you a lot you get to unlock the ability to dap more.

Dapsem allows people to distribute ‘Daps’ which are effectively points. It’s a bit like taking Facebook Like to next level, but it’s not Liking it’s connecting.

In theory people will be incentivised to Dap people because it’s a vanity action: you’re publicly giving someone or some thing some appreciation, but subtley drawing attention to yourself at the same time.

A ‘Hall of Fame’, like a leaderboard, will create data about the things with the most Daps.

Of course, the business model here is that brands and celebrities might want to gain Dap points.