Monday, September 19, 2011

Reputation Systems

A talk presented by Randy Farmer, co-author of the O'Reilly book Web Reputation Systems. I highly recommend the book and this video, from a Google Tech Talk seminar, is an excellent introduction.

Randy Farmer explains the pitfalls behind creating reputation systems. At issue is how people interact on-line; how they become "known" and rated as "trustworthy." In a very short time reputation and privacy will be considered two sides of the same coin. Anonymity has its use, but of greater value would be to have anonymity AND reputation. This way people will be able to communicate w/o fear of retribution AND be able to separate the troll from the avatar.

We can see that a future world, where people are better known by their avatars, may lead to problems. I can't begin to foresee those issues - that will be discussed and analyzed a decade from now.

Cheap, functional, reliable things unleash the creativity of people who then build stuff that you could not imagine. There’s no way of predicting the Internet based on the first transistor.”

George Whitesides: Toward a Science of Simplicity

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