Below is the video where I first saw Tara in action, speaking at the Web 2.0 Conference in April 2009 about The Whuffie Factor: The 5 Keys for Maxing Social Capital and Winning with Online Communities.
For those not in the know, “whuffie” is the measure of reputation used in Cory Doctorow’s sci-fi novel Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. Since we don’t have any other good words for describing collectively assessed reputation, whuffie has gained traction as a description of this phenomenon.
Taken from the book description:
As one who has actually launched a company using the power of online communities, and who now advises big and small companies, Tara Hunt is the perfect person to do this book. The San Francisco Chronicle, in fact, named her as one of the Digital Utopians who populate Web 2.0, along with luminaries like Jimmy Wales and Tim O’ Reilly and Fast Company named her one of the Most Influential Women in Tech.
While The Whuffie Factor will traverse the landscape of Web 2.0 and show you how to become a player, it is not just another book about online marketing. People see the huge business potential of the online world and the first impulse is: let’s throw a bunch of money at it. To which Tara Hunt says: “Stop! Money isn’t the capital of choice in online communities, it is Whuffie – social capital – and how to raise it is the heart of this book.” In the Web 2.0 world, market capital flows from having high social capital. Without Whuffie you lose your connections and any recommendation you make will be seen as spam, met with negative reactions and a loss of social capital.
Given the topics of influence and reputation that will covered at the Summit, Tara is perfect to keynote. The title of her presentation at Future of Influence Summit is You Can’t Eat Whuffie, but it’s Getting Harder to Eat Without It.
I’m looking forward to it!