Reputation Networks

I have recently joined connect.me, a new reputation network.

I have been asked why, with all the other social network sites available, did I join (and pester friends/colleagues to join) this one.

Firstly a reputation network is NOT a social network, well, not exactly. A dedicated reputation network would seek not to compete with other social networks, but instead provide a mechanism by which one proves one’s credibility. That proof can then be used in other places (social networks being one example) to support and evidence your reputation.

For example, if you were on a reputation network and had many vouches that you were eminent in the field of network security, you then might post a blog article about network security. Your readers may want to know if you’re talking nonsense or not and can check to see what your reputation is by following a link to your connect.me profile. What’s more they should be able to see who vouched for you, and determine for themselves how reliable those vouches were. If a bunch of other network security people had vouched for you, your readers could trust your blog article more than if you only had vouches from your luddite grandmother.

Why *this* one? Why not? If it fails to work, I can delete my account. If it ends up being successful, then I’ll make use of it. However such systems only work when they are used. If no-one that knows me is on there, my reputation can not be accurately judged by those that don’t know me. Hence I encourage to join those that know me in particular fields of my interest.

When you considers online services such as this the immediate concern is privacy, what they do with your data and how they respect your rights to privacy. This site has won an award for their personal data privacy policies. What this means further down the line, any site can change policies, is debatable. Therefore it is important to keep telling them how we value their current stance to ensure they stick with it.

2 Replies to “Reputation Networks”

  1. Hi, this is Drummond Reed, co-founder and Chairman of Connect.Me. I just wanted to point out that the Respect Trust Framework that Connect.Me is based upon (which won the Privacy Award at the 2011 European Identity Conference) is NOT something that Connect.Me can change at will. Rather it can only changed if it benefits ALL users of Connect.Me and the Respect Network — and once the Respect Network reaches a population of 1M trust anchors, it can only be changed by a supermajority vote of the trust anchors.

    That’s why privacy policies are not enough — we need the protection of trust frameworks in which the relevant and affected parties have a stake.

    Hope this helps,

    =Drummond

  2. Thank you for the comment. I think people are very cautious about site privacy policies, fearing that what they read and approve one day may be pulled out from underneath them. The sort of security you describe above is exactly what is needed to provide confidence!

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