Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Online Repuation: What is Yours

Today on TechCrunch, I read about another online reputation system which just got launched, Gorb. After iKarma and Rapleaf which are yet to be called a success, Gorb has joined the race with a little twist. It lets you post anonymous feedback about anyone so you don't have to worry about telling someone that you hate them.

This led me to write this post on the importance and usability of online reputation as it is of high importance in Web 2.0 world.

Primarily, online reputation has been used for eCommerce and has not shown its usage anywhere else very successfully. At least, I have not seen any other prominent use of it like hiring an employee or finding a partner for a new venture. Though professional networks like Linkedin provide a similar kind of functionality, the feedback there tends to be skewed towards positives only.

Some of the factors which should be looked for while using online reputation:

1. Fact or event based
2. Balanced - free of bias
3. Available for searching on Internet
4. Portable

Many of the analysts find eBay's reputation system as the best available one. I differ on this claim because eBay's system lacks two basic qualities;

(1) You cannot search it on open Internet; for eg: I cannot search for eBay's seller reputation on Google or Yahoo.
(2) eBay has not made it Portable, i.e. a buyer or seller cannot display the reputation outside of eBay.

The world is yet to see a system which will encompass all these qualities and give us a true reflection. Another factor which is critical for online reputation and that might restrict its success is multiple online identities maintained by people. A mashup of OpenID and reputation system with all the above factors will be great to watch out for.

I am interested in knowing the systems that you use, its purpose and factors that you look for while using. Please share with us.

No comments: