‘Identity is how you describe yourself do others; reputation is how others describe you.’
A lot of my recent research has focussed on reputation as a function of digital identity – from the brainstorming Ian and I did on telephony reputations, to concepts that IDII students developed for me in March. In essence, is it useful to have global digital reputations, like eBay Feedback Scores, that can be applied to any transaction online?
The Institute for the Future recently switched from trend forecasts to ‘prescient product ideas’ to illustrate its insights. One of the five Artefacts from the Future included a spoof American Express Statement of Account for reputation…an very interesting user-centic notion.
Perhaps the way to tackle reputation in multiple contexts is to simply ‘bank’ transactions in various categories. Services like Flickr, Amazon, eBay and others would simply bank transactions with the user’s identity/reputation provider; from low value transactions, such as blog posts, comments and user reviews to borrowing items and finally higher value auctions, sales and loans.
It’s not too difficult to see a service like Rapleaf evolving into the Root.net for reputation. More significantly, if eBay were to provide API access to Feedback Scores, or even spin-off their reputation systems, they could rapidly become the first large scale Reputation Bank.