Friday, May 05, 2006

Rapleaf Reputation Limited

In examining Rapleaf's reputation system I keep bumping into one fundamental limitation. You can rate people on only three participatory roles of two experiences. In the asymmetric buy/sell experience you can rate them as either a buyer or a seller and in the symmetric experience of "friendship", well, as a friend. How about rating someone as a blogger, novelist, graphic artist, worker, presenter, programmer, and so on? These experiences are just as important. The math models can't be that difficult. Sounds ambitious but reputation seems composed of much more. I know they've really only just launched but there may be a way around this problem. Since Rapleaf is building a business on reputation, maybe they should start thinking (I'm sure they already have) about being the clearing house and synthesis engine for other reputation systems. One easy integration might be with Technorati rank. That may be an easy way to integrate blogging reputation or authority into their system. The math may be hard but integration should be simple. This is a way for Rapleaf to increase the value of their own reputation system as well as adding value to other open reputation systems. If they start getting wide adoption that might pressure some reputation silos to start opening up their systems. It's a tough row to hoe but it's a strategy to establishing something interesting. Whuffie anyone? I'm really starting to get interested in how this intersects, merges, enhances or trumps the current attention economy talk but I'm going to need to think about that one some more before I go off half-cocked on you, gentle reader, in this space.

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Anonymous Dave Chiu said...

From what I can tell, Rapleaf is focusing on ecommerce at the moment. You might be interested in a project I just worked on involving a reputation management service with a broader focus: RentAThing

2:48 AM  
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