Building Web Reputation Systems

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* Book: Building Web Reputation Systems. By F. Randall Farmer and Bryce Glass


Clay Spinuzzi:

"in the absence of more durable connections, when we need to develop swift trust, we look for different ways to judge the authority and ethos of the people with whom we connect. Bryce and his coauthor, F. Randall Farmer, tell us how to do this systematically.

I've blogged before about how Farmer and Glass handle reputation in terms of ethos claims, so I won't repeat that work here. Suffice it to say that although the authors are not rhetoricians, rhetoricians should read this book. Rhetoricians will recognize a claims structure that looks a lot like Toulmin's (see Ch.2), but is fitted for digital literacy and its many ephemeral, distributed connections. They'll learn a lot from the book's descriptions and case studies about what ethos looks like in digital environments -- and how to fine-tune reputation systems to keep them healthy, productive, accurate, and aligned with the purpose of the community.

The book not only covers vital ground, it also covers that ground gracefully: the book is highly readable and is full of useful examples and diagrams. Although some parts assume some basic knowledge of system design, readers shouldn't have trouble getting through the rest of the book or gathering the core messages." (