Reputation Graph Part 2: Who’s Building It
A quick follow-up to my first post on the reputation graph (which btw, is now the #1 result on Google for the search term “reputation graph”…) I had a few people in the comments talk about companies that were starting to build the reputation graph so I thought I’d highlight some of them here. It’s still way too early to say with any certainty who the companies are that are likely be building this (or whether the reputation graph will even be built) but I thought it would be fun to start a list of who’s doing what that may relate in some way. Please feel free to chime in more in the comments with others you have seen.
Honestly.com – I really love the potential of Honestly. The big challenge is avoiding both the “all good reviews” challenge (which LinkedIn Endorsements suffer from) and the “race to the bottom” slams that have hurt some anonymous review sites. Honestly is on a good path with “anonymity tied to identity” which is the right approach I think.
Mixtent – Mixtent, and a similar site called CubeDuel, ask you to compare people within your social graph (both of these sites use LinkedIn’s APIs). This is smart as it avoids asking the user to do a lot of work (e.g., write a review or even rate a person). Think of these companies kind of like “Facemash for business” (will make sense if you’ve seen The Social Network). (Update: Interesting thread on CubeDuel on Hacker News. Someone else mentioned the “Facemash for the office” angle.)
Klout – Klout is a business that I think will be huge. Obviously others do as well as well as these guys just closed a monster funding round. One major difference between Klout and the three companies listed above is that it is relying on already existing data to determine influence. However, it seems like it’s not too big of a leap for Klout to get access to proprietary data in the future. Another business in the same vein as Klout is PeerIndex.
Quora – Quora is another business that will likely be gigantic someday and it could potentially play a big role in the building of the reputation graph. There’s already a voting system in place for quality responses and they also have the beginnings of topic-specific leaderboards. Another company along the lines of Quora in this area is Namesake which is also focusing on conversations between experts and no doubt will end up building some portion of the reputation graph.
There are a whole host of other companies who could move into the reputation graph space. LinkedIn and Facebook are the most obvious candidates. They have incredible data already about individuals and what people think of the people around them. But it’s still a very small percentage of the data that’s out there. I think it will take a lot to pull this data out of peoples’ heads. As several of the commenters on the previous post mentioned, there are a host of challenges including the ability of people to game the system and a questionable incentive structure.
It’ll be a fascinating space to watch unfold and I’m looking forward to seeing how people address these challenges. And again, if you know of other companies that are actively building the reputation graph, please list them in the comments.