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Re: Reputations

Greg Burk writes:
> Too little incentive to shoot for the heights:
> Suppose you judge that you've accumulated twice as much "reputation
> capital" as Joe. How do you get twice as much payoff? It seems to me
> that above the threshhold of credibility, minor side issues make more
> difference than your two-fold "reputation capital" differential.

Go read Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (a good book to read anyway :)
and examine the nature of the computer network "discussion groups" he talks
about: a classic example of reputation markets in many-to-many discussions.
With the proper tools someone with twice the reputation capital in a
particular category as another will have a greater chance of what they say
not being filtered out as noise.

> As an "asset", it is extremely non-liquid:
> How exactly would you "convert" your reputation into other capital?
> Would you accept bribes and tell lies? Seems to me you would only get a
> one-shot "conversion" and it couldn't possibly hope to equal your
> investment.

Tell that to Walter Cronkite, Siskel & Ebert, Moody's and others who have
converted reputation capital into large piles of money.  Time is an asset
that has a monetary value to most people, and they are willing to spend money
to hear the opinions of sources which they feel have a high reputation in
a particular area rather than spending the time necessary to do the research
and investigation themselves.

> So I think the latter part of the analysis is wishful thinking, or at
> least restricted to a small subset of subject-matter.

No, I think that you just don't understand the mechanics of reputations and
how they interact with the most important resource in most people's lives:
time.  Instead of thinking of "reputation" look at it from the other end and
consider the "attention marketplace."  Right now reputation markets have a
limited presence on the internet (mostly through killfiles) because the tools

required are not integreated into the tools used to browse the information.
In time this will change.