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This relates to the AnonymityVsPseudonymity debate.

"On the Internet -- nobody knows you're a dog." Or so they say. What happens, actually, is that people will look you up. If they can't find any information about you on the Internet, you will have to prove yourself something other than a dog. Because on the Internet -- everybody assumes you're a dog.

That's why so many people have a HomePage, a handle they keep reusing. It builds trust. And in a GiftEconomy, where people have everything they need, the only thing to gain is reputation. And reputation is gained by giving things away. Give information about yourself. Knowledge you have. Contributions you have made.

In ReputationEconomics, value is a function of how trustworthy you are, and how useful you are. Thus, much like in a PeerReviewedJournal, not only do you want to show your contributions, you want to show that they have been valued by your peers. Commenting on a SlashDot article is ok, writing the article is good, being the author of a slashdotted page is better.

See also: OnlineIdentity, ImportanceOfIdentityInOnlineCommunities.

Contributors: AlexSchroeder (trying to raise my value!)

Sorry everyone that I don't know how to sign in on Meatball (mark that man's reputation value down - oh, I see, it can't go lower) but wow, what a useful idea for a page name.

The current irony is that with my signature below everyone reading this will know that in so saying RichardDrake is trying to increase the reputation value of the contributor of the (current) last sentence of AnonymityVsPseudonymity. But because I'm not familiar with the ways of this wiki I don't have a clue who that is or how sure other people will be able to be about that. Maybe nobody knows who it is.

More generally, it's useful to think that there's a probability function associated with that one sentence, over the space {person reading, who they think wrote it}. So I guess ReputationEconomics could get complex pretty quickly, without necessarily modeling the real world too well. Hmm, that makes Economics a good term. Go for it, Meatball! Expect a link here from WhyClublet sometime soon. (The nutters that may arrive as a result are clearly not wholly my responsibility - please bear in mind as my aggregrate reputation value is calculated at the end of the month/year/millennium.) -- RichardDrake

The gift-centric nature of our beloved information world is a fascinating topic, but not a simple one, which is why we should be wary of statements like "where people have all they need." All it takes is one counterexample -- Me. I lack time and access to the resources i feel I need to accomplish the goals I value.

The problem of value in the informational universe is very relevant to me and, I suspect, to most of us here at Meatball. How does gift-based value relate to other types, like economic value?

A comparison with academia seems instructive. Academia is very information centric. Its purpose might be called the discovery and disclosure of truth. It achieves the funding which permits its operation through the subsidy of government and industry, or organized power, because it is recognized as a producer of value which is useful to powerful social actors.

I think most of us are after a similar recognition of the value of the informational institutions we create and plan. Personally, I seek to structure an institution(s) which is motivating and valuable like a business, information-centric like academia, intimate like a family, and useful to the potentially most powerful and least corruptible social force, the democratic public. --LynHeadley

People want to increase the value of their SerialIdentity, so they like to sign comments, and they like ContributorTagging?, and they object to RemoveIdentity reworking. But if what people really care about is ReputationEconomics, then maybe it would be better to do as employment does, and have people from your past community provide references to your future communities. To some extent, BarnStars do this, if you keep them. So, rather than trying to get my name scattered widely around meatball, I'd hope to simply get a positive reference from the community, and use that to show the next group of folks that I wasn't a dog.

RightToVanish relates to this: I get to choose, in employment, who I ask for a reference. If I never got on with Badsoft Inc, I wouldn't ask them for a reference, so for future employers I'm dissasociating my current identity from my identity as a former employee of Badsoft. Similarly, if I and a community mesh badly, I don't want that destroying the value of my SerialIdentity. Insurance, in a sense. I think this kind of reference-based reputation system is much better than the signature-based reputation system prevalent today. --MartinHarper


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