Social Currency

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= the reputation score an individual or entity acquires in a particular social network that credibly reflects their value in that network


1. JC Clippinger [1]:

"A social currency is the reputation score an individual or entity acquires in a particular social network that credibly reflects their value in that network. For example, like a monetary currency, the value of a social currency may be set by the demand that an individual in a given social network can command, as in some kind of supply and demand calculation. Yet the calculation may also reflect a more subtle calculation of value based upon peer ratings of performance that cannot be captured in measures of supply and demand.

Different social networks have their own social currencies reflecting their reputation and membership rules. Highly proficient members of these networks - those who know how to truck, barter and exchange - can accumulate their own form of social capital - i.e., favors, obligations, goodwill. In many cases, they can convert one social currency into currencies in other social networks. For example, success in sports is often convertible to success in politics, business and entertainment. Likewise, social currencies accumulated in a business network are generally convertible into the currencies of social standing and political credibility. The more open and diverse a society is, the greater possibility for social mobility - something rarely possible in closed, traditional societies." (

1. Brian Solies

"Social currency is represented in the resulting value and sentiment that stems from the exchange of social objects: words, videos, reactions, links. What I publish is social currency. We can measure the value of this currency in each exchange by its reach, resonance, and ultimately influence. However, it’s sum is greater than its parts. If I’m looking to weigh “who you are,” what appears in search as well as the presentation of your profiles, tells me more than you know. It defines who I am and how much I am “worth”. So social currency is a combination of actions and words." (


Brian Solis:

"While it’s difficult to call out individuals, we can take a look at how brands are establishing goodwill and investing in social capital through online engagement. I do appreciate what American Express is doing around Open Forum. For a brand, it is earning social capital through the investment of meaningful and valuable social currency. Its intention is to build a social community through value-added content, insight, advice, and community. The team is building a network and ecosystem, a complete engagement strategy built on social currency. They enlisted the brightest minds in the field of small business and placed them in a community where these people share content, expertise, and experience with everyone – without cost. It is a form of information commerce, with creation and curation of content. They also launched a mobile app to bring that experience to anyone anywhere. Their idea is to earn social capital by making a contribution to the wider community of small business owners.

What they want is not only immediate returns, but indirect and long term returns. American Express invests in priceless commodities: information and insights. They create a unique bond with the people they want to reach, and build social capital, something even stronger than goodwill. While intent counts, we are measured by what we do, not what we want to do." (


Nancy Dailey [2]:

"People who can make things happen have one thing in common-social currency. Imperceptible, yet powerful all the same, social currency is like business accounting for goodwill. It's the intangible value earned from the exchange of positive human interactions. Helpful relationships produce social currency. Regardless of your position in the social space at work, your social currency can wield influence and power to make change happen.

So what is social currency? It's the new power tool for today's work world. Technology is pushing interdependence in our organizations faster than we can adapt. People need to mirror the technology: fast, focused, integrated, and web-like in their interactions with co-workers, clients, and vendors. People with social currency can move faster and be more effective because they have established trusted relationships. It1s these relationships that move others to change, to try new things, to explore possibilities.

Here's how it works-The more helpful relationships are, the more information is shared. The more information is shared, the more people feel connected. The more people feel connected, the more they trust the relationship. The more trust people feel, the faster the acceptance of change. That's why this notion of "social currency" is replacing information as a key power driver of change.

Having information by itself is no longer the same as having power. Just think of the number of emails you receive each day (and don't read). Distribution of information in organizations today, at least technically, is fast, focused and integrated. What is missing in organizations is the mechanism to make sense of all the information and for the information to make any difference. Information alone means very little. It's what people do with or about it that matters. That's where social currency comes in -- it attends to the ‘people side' of the equation -- where information gets transformed into knowledge, skill, and action." (

More Information

  1. Social currency and the relationship value model. By David Phillips.


  1. P2P Metrics
  2. Reputation
  3. Reputation Tags