In the context of reputation

Principles of Reputation

Phil Windley originally posted his thoughts on this topic which Dave Kearns has commented on here.

This has raised quite a lively discussion in the office, particularly with Paul .Whilst I agree on most of the points raised by Phil, I have to disagree with the comments that Dave is making on persona. To quote:

"That is, no single persona could have more than one reputation. So each digital context of your identity would develop both it's own persona and it's own reputation. That reputation belongs to you, but it's neither created nor maintained by you. That does mean, of course, that you need to always be aware of your reputation to guard against it becomming an adverse attribute for your persona."

This is where I have the problem. Dave is stating that a persona (a 'view' of your identity) is derived from the context of the identity. I would disagree. I believe that I a particular persona has multiple contexts associated with it and that each context has a different reputation.

For example, I have the identity 'Paul Toal'. One view of my identity is my 'work' persona. This is the view of my identity as perceived when I am at work. This obviously differs from my 'home' persona. However, even within my work persona, my reputation around the office with my fellow employees is different from that of my reputation with clients that I work for. Therefore, even though it is my single persona, the context (employees or clients) means that I have different reputations for each.

This is the same as what Phil is saying in his post:

"Reputation exists in the context of community."

Another of Dave's comments is that "reputation belongs to you." Again, I disagree. The reputation is about you but is not owned by you. It is purely a weighted aggregate concerning what people say about you. Take eBay's feedback for example. The result of your reputation is a percentage score which is aggregated from the feedback of all individual people you have transacted with.

The whole discussion of reputation does start to come round full circle when you start to look at the weighting. If I ask my a colleague at work what they think about the Prime Minister and ask a stranger in the street, firstly, both their opinions would be based on Tony's reputation. Secondly, would I put more weighting on my colleague's opinion because I know them as opposed to the stranger. Of course I would! However, it is because of their reputation that I know them and therefore place more emphasis on their opinion.

I think a lot more discussion will take place around reputation before we get a consolidated understanding of where it can fit into Identity and how we can use it. This is where I do agree with Dave. As he quite rightly states:

"Once we've been able to get a grip on what reputation is, perhaps then
we can move on to how to leverage that reputation within identity


2 thoughts on “In the context of reputation

  1. Pingback: Here, Now

  2. Pingback: Further reputation thoughts | Here, Now

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