Reputation is a Terrible Currency [...]

Cory Doctorow points out flaws in casting reputation as an economic system; it is not a measurable quantity and can be shown to turn out to be a currency that people game in a way that dilutes its intent.

Currencies need to serve as units of account – so you can price every­thing from vintage Star Wars figures to anti-fungal cream and calculate their total worth. They need to serve as media for exchange, so that someone who has Ken­ner Star Wars figures and needs anti-fungal cream can convert one to the other. They need to serve as stores of value – so you can convert your action figures to something more stable that you can use in your dot­age, in case Star Wars ceases to be cool in another 50 years.

Reputation is pretty much useless for any of these things. Instead, they’re literally popularity contests: ‘‘more people like me than you, so I win and you lose.’’ In theory, this kind of jerky behavior will cost you reputation – but in reality, many people are delighted to treat such jerks as ‘‘strong, de­cisive people who tell it like it is.’’

The Internet has been trying to figure out how to make reputation work for decades now. Those scores that appear next to Ebay sellers’ names and on the profiles of ‘‘shar­ing economy’’ workers profile pages – Uber, Lyft, Airbnb – attempt to establish a basis for strangers to trust one another. (Source)

(source)[] Measurement or [indirect] Indicators of Reputation? A Twitter List / Docker / iPython Notebook Journey - blog post by Alan Levine on reputation measurement vs indirect indicator, exploring the idea of word frequency in twitter lists

(source)[] Twitter and the Reputation Economy in 2014 - blog post by Chris Collins citing issues with LinkedIn Endorsements/Klout scores and her idea to make a wordcloud of the names of Twitter lists she was added to

Wikity users can copy this article to their own site for editing, annotation, or safekeeping. If you like this article, please help us out by copying and hosting it.

Destination site (your site)
Posted on Categories All Cards, CC certification