Reputation Economy Conference

Thanks to all of you have sent me this:


Yes, it’s a conference about reputation economies that took place back on December 8, at Yale University. Alas, I missed it, but the online description says:

Reputation, which plays a key role in almost any economic or social system, is a fundamental, but not well understood, aspect of online business transactions, peer production of information and knowledge, and exchanges within virtual social communities. Traditional modes of authentication, accreditation, reputation, and prior acquaintance with participants rely on the social norms of close-knit communities and the accountability of meeting face to face. Since these mechanisms usually do not apply to online environments, we have witnessed the development of alternative models for reputation management including third-party certificate authorities, peer-produced evaluations, ratings, stars, points, karma and others.

Click here for the rest.

The term “reputation economy” had been around a while when I started conceptualizing Extras. I have no idea when it first came into use. Cory Doctorow invents a reputation-based currency called whuffie in his 2003 book Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, and Howard L. Meyers mentions a similar system way back in 1971 in his story, “All Around the Universe.” And, of course, we’ve all seen websites like eBay, where sellers are ranked with feedback from all the people who’ve bought from them before. That’s a real-life reputation economy that’s been around since 1995.

Obviously, reputation is important to human beings. We want to know who to trust and who not to trust. Alas, whatever kind of reputation system we use—word of mouth, online, bathroom wall—there’s always someone willing and able to abuse it. Pointless celebrities dominate, news channels fabricate, banks collapse, and even best friends lie to us sometimes. (Sad for the world, but lucky for novelists; otherwise a lot of cool plot twists would disappear.)

But you guys know all this. You’re the first generation to grow up with the quasi-reputation economies that are Facebook, Myspace, and Google, all of which show us who has the most friends, links, or comments.

So how does reputation work where you go to school? (Or to work? Or to network?) Who do you trust? Who trusts you? And what’s the worst failure of your local reputation economy that you’ve ever seen?

629 thoughts on “Reputation Economy Conference

  1. ok well im bored and i want to be comment 600 so yea…here i go! 600! haha. lol.

    well that was fun… im going to bed…goodnight!

  2. 2nd generation nano? haha. I have 3rd generation. It’s so. much. cooler.

    Zunes are cool, I guess. Not as cool as a nano, b/c they don’t have video and games and calenders and all that stuff. But the software it like so hard to set up. I spent forever setting it it up for my sister yesterday. Because I’m geekier than her.

  3. 1st gen. is the white and black nanos the mini’s are something toatally diff 2nd gen. is the colored nano’s and 3rd. is the video nano’s
    i just got a 3rd gen. for xmas its really cute!

  4. i want the new nano kinda, but i just got my 2nd gen last year and since they release a new one every year i figure what’s the point of buying a new one (when mine is only a year old) if i know that they’re gonna change it again next year? like i’ll get a larger capacity one when it’s necessary, but for now i’m happy w/ my 4 gigs.

  5. only 4? haha. I have 8.

    The 3rd generation nano is my first iPod. It’s so pretty. I got black. b/c the lime is ugly, the red is too vivid, the silver was only 4 gb, and the blue was too light. The black was just right. No, I wasn’t Goldilocks in a past life.


  6. hello
    do any of you like guitar hero 3?
    cause like all of my friends do
    they love it
    no they worship it
    they think and i quot (too lazy to fix)
    “it is the greatest thing since Jesus Christ”
    that is a huge statment don’t you think

  7. since no one is posting i will go now
    but befor i go i must say that my lips are huge
    it looks like i did something to them
    it only happens when i wake up
    they are already big but now when i wake up they are poof suddenly huge
    they go down after about 30 min.
    ok now i will take my leave

    luv ya 🙂

  8. lol Your lips get big in the morning? That is very very weird. omg that’s strange.

    I’ve never played Guitar Hero, mainly because the only gaming system thing I have is a computer, and my brothers have an xbox they won’t share. But everyone I know plays it and loves it. Why play guitar hero, when there are um, you know, REAL GUITARS to play? Why would you care more about playing a game than learning to play a real guitar? Just sounds stupid to me. But of course I’ve never played it so maybe I dont’ know what ‘m talking about.


  9. ive never played guitar hero. dont think i really want to…

    i dont have an ipod. i woodnt use it if i got one. i have an mp3 player that i dont use…i kinda lost it and now i want it and now im mad.
    my 8 year old cousin just got an ipod for Christmakanuka. its a nano and it plays videos and its so cute! my sister wants to steal it…its pretty funny.

    does anybody on here ever feel wierd when you have a friend over or your borrowing a friends computer and there reading over your shoulder? cuz i do. and that happens to me a lot. like rite now. and it makes me self concience that im not spelling stuff rong. cuz when someones watchng me i start spelling stuff rite and that buggs me.

    -Lizzy-wa OUT! 🙁

  10. i was just in walmart (my sister didnt like her ipod, she got a nano but wanted a touch) and there were the games set up so you can play. i watched a couple of people play guitar hero and was like i wanna play it. i didnt make it past half the song. i lost… big time. 🙁


  12. They sell ipod touch at Wal-mart? didn’t know that.

    I am going to stop commenting now until Scott writes a new post. I am boycotting Westerblog! lol.

  13. techniqually, hehe. awesome spelling. sorry. techniqually your supposed to say “Happy Christmakanuka”. techniqually an all…

    -Lizzy-wa OUT! 😛

  14. *shrug* This is completely off-topic, but I would hang the Asignatura Estatal teacher from the flagpole if that’s what it took to get my school to have advanced classes. Though maybe they should start with a decent system. Scratch that. I’d hang the teacher from the flagpole to get out of that school…
    …That would probably work. I’d get in really big trouble… ah well.

    And on the subject of the Twilight Saga – Bella annoys me. She annoys the person who lent me Twilight even more, which is why said person stopped reading on page three hundred and thirty-three.

    I am as bored as a board.

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