Reputation is an important part of one's nature / property / essence / PersonalIdentity

Especially important in well connected networks where people choose to listen to you, employ you, buy stuff from you or from someone else. Reputation will help them decide. (AKA egoboo, whuffie)

See also SocialCapital

Criticism of Attention as Asset

Comment I made on a defunct TribeNet discussion :

I think your last sentence hits on something important.

If you can't easily exchange it or trade it, then to what extent is it a unit of account or unit of trade or any type of capital rather than merely an intangible asset like your intelligence or location?

It might be worth making a distinction between these two ideas. Tradable capital (money, land, capital, goods) and non-tradable assets.

This "asset" notion of reputation has been around for a long time under titles like "good will" and "credit rating". Eventually the idea of "brand" tried to make this more formal and more manipulable. ie. "Good will" seems a bit nebulous, but it appears you can invest in "brand" simply by throwing money at advertising agencies.

This is one reason I think the idea of TheAttentionEconomy is a very productive one (more so than information or reputation). Because "attention" does seem to be something that can be parlayed into money (you endorse something, write a book that people buy because you´re famous etc.) or into more attention : from author to chat-show guest etc.

Equally NetoCracy's imploitation and exploitation.

Reputation is, in comparison, rather unmalleable. It's very hard to explicitly invest in to increase it. It's almost entirely in the hands of other people. What you can mainly do with it is risk it on endorsing someone else ... and if you turn out to be wrong it only goes down. But it's not clear how much kudos you really gain if you recommend a good plumber.

I think the money thing is a good point. If you haven't read it, read KeithHart on money. The most explicit connections between reputation and money occur in local, personal credit currencies like LETS which are literally nothing more than accounts of who owes who.

I'd say "trust" is very different from reputation. Reputation is a relation with people you know (of) based on their previous actions. "trust" is a relation with people you don´t know based on a general expectation about other members of your community. Trust is vital for getting new relationships off the ground.

Perhaps normal currencies are based on trust, in that what backs the currency is typically the expectation of value of the national economy. Although saddly it seems more and more to be based on the willingness of the IMF to punish nations that allow their economy to devalue.


  • XpertWeb seems to be an exchange / market with added reputation

See also

  • Part of one's network capital / wealth under NetoCracy (SocialCapitalAndIncome)
  • Brand is a kind of reputation, see NoLogo
  • Reputation is definitional of the idea of the individual (IndividualRecognition)
  • But the idea of trusting reputation too much epistemologically goes against CriticalRationalism