Will our reputation systems be distributed? Probably not for a long time


The development of reputation systems will be a central aspect of the economy and society this decade. While we are still early in the overall process of building robust systems that are themselves trustworthy, the pace of development is accelerating.

Craig Newmark (founder of Craigslist) is putting a lot of thought into the issue. His recent post Trust and reputation systems: redistributing power and influence, begins:

People use social networking tools to figure out who they can trust and rely on for decision making. By the end of this decade, power and influence will shift largely to those people with the best reputations and trust networks, from people with money and nominal power. That is, peer networks will confer legitimacy on people emerging from the grassroots.

The ultimate issue for Craig is how these systems are developed:

I think the solution lies in a network of trust and reputation systems. We’re seeing the evolution of a number of different ways of measuring trust, which reflects a human reality; different people think of trust in different ways.

We need to be able to move around the currency of trust, whatever that turns out to be, like we move money from one bank to another. That suggests the need for interchange standards, and ethical standards that require the release of that information when requested.

Craig expanded on these ideas in an interview for GigaOm, below.

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The power of Juicystar07 demonstrates two key trends in influence


While we were working on the Future of Influence Summit last year I encapsulated the essence of what I was seeing in the space in Five key trends in how influence is transforming society, complementing our Influence Landscape.

If you’ve managed to avoid Juicystar07 and Allthatglitters21 so far, your time is up. They provide a fantastic example of two of the key trends in influence. Blair Fowler (Juicystar07) and Elle Fowler (Allthatglitters21) are sisters who review beauty and fashion products on their YouTube channels, with a total of 50 million and 31 million video views respectively. The video below is a “haul” review of a sponsor’s products which was also being filmed by Good Morning America.

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More on personal reputation systems – video interview of Travis Kalanick


Following up on my post Personal reputation systems are about to take off… but the next start-up won’t last, taking off on Techcrunch’s pre-announcement of a new personal reputation start-up, Brad King pointed me to this very interesting video he took of investor Travis Kalanick, who is almost certainly talking about the same start-up. He makes some very interesting comments, not least about how pissed off everyone is going to be about this.

Personal reputation systems are about to take off… but the next start-up won’t last


Michael Arrington of Techcrunch writes that this week a start-up will launch that is “effectively Yelp for people,” and promises detailed coverage in the next few days.

This is of great interest, not least because our own start-up Repyoot will be launching in public beta in the next couple of weeks, starting as an influence ratings engine within a limited domain, and intending to evolve into a broad-based reputation engine for people.

The thrust of Arrington’s article is that if we are all open to anonymous feedback…

It’s time for a centralized, well organized place for anonymous mass defamation on the Internet. Scary? Yes. But it’s coming nonetheless.

…we will have to change how we judge reputation.

We’re going to be forced to adjust as a society. I firmly believe that we will simply become much more accepting of indiscretions over time. Employers just won’t care that ridiculous drunk college pictures pop up about you when they do a HR background search on you.

In 2007 I expressed similar sentiments in Watch out! The intimate details of your life will be visible forever more…, saying

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Key management trend: Reputation management


I was recently interviewed for a report created by the executive forum Vistage, titled 12 Trends That Will Define Business in the “New Normal”.

One of the key trends covered in the report in which they drew on my thoughts is reputation management, excerpted below.

Trend 7: Reputation Management

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How reputation measurement will transform professional services


Earlier this week I did the opening keynote at the AMP Hillross annual convention, with the title of Embracing the Future. Hillross, one of the most upmarket of the wealth management networks, is seeking to lead the rest of the market by shifting to a pure fee-for-advice model, and rapidly developing a true professional culture. My keynote was designed to bring home the necessity of individual and firm leadership at this key juncture in industry structure.

One of the central themes of my talk was the increasing importance of reputation for professionals. Clearly reputation has always been critical for any professional, and there are some parts of professional services markets where reputation is already highly visible, such as prominent M&A lawyers, who are identified by numerous client surveys. While clients of other professional services (for example audit or management consulting) tend to be more focused on engaging firms rather than individuals, there is a fundamental shift from corporate to individual reputation under way.

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