Reputation Banks

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Albert Cañigueral:

“What's missing in collaborative consumption today? Roo Rogers answer was clear:

"We still need great, centralized databases of reputation. If we’re good Zipsters, and good eBay tradesman, our rep should follow us. People should be able to see our record, tied to a fixed identity, and do business with us more confidently."

Startups like TrustCloud would like to become the portable reputation system for the web. The company is building an algorithm to collect (if you choose to opt in) your online "data exhaust" -- the trail you leave as you engage with others on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, commentary-filled sites like TripAdvisor, and beyond -- and calculate your reliability, consistency, and responsiveness. The result would be a contextual badge you'd carry to any website, a trust rating similar to the credit rating you have in the offline world.

Facebook also has the potential to become the arbiter of online trust. "The incentive to be a good player in that ecosystem goes up dramatically when it's associated with my real identity," says Carl Sjogreen, manager of Facebook's platform product team., "because if someone leaves a bad review of me on AirBnB, that will carry with me to the rest of the web.”

These are new territories and there are still a lot of unanswered questions: How to balance different sources of activity? Does all “sharing history” count the same? Should your offline citizen behavior be part of it? Should governments be involved at all?” (

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