Measuring Online Reputation

As I introduced the Networked Identity as the cornerstone of the oncoming changes in the way we experience the web, I mentioned reputation as one of the three main areas in which online identity is manifested.

How can we evaluate or even measure reputation? There are some primitive indicators out there, such as the number and frequency of incoming links for a blog, or the number of friends or followers on a Social Network.

Technorati, Blogbabel, Wikio, are platforms that make good use of the hyperlink as the measurement unit – but this has some intrinsic limitations:

  1. it’s neutral: I can link something for a lot of different reasons, both positive and negative – and it counts exactly in the same way;
  2. it has no weight: one link in a “thanks to” list with dozens of people in it carries the same amount of measurable appreciation as a link to the single life-changing post that inspired an extraordinary feat;
  3. it is not universal: I can link only if I have some form of online presence where a link can be originated;
  4. it can be easily reproduced by automatic systems, theoretically (at least) exposing any links-based mechanism to spam attacks

How could these be overcome?


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