Reputation Graph Part 2: Who’s Building It

skyscraperA 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_logoHonestly.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_smallerMixtent – 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.)

kloutsmallKlout – 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.

quoraQuora – 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.

13. January 2011 by Jon
Categories: Disruption, Reputation Graph | 13 comments

  • http://duinote.com/ Tak

    first thing I would worry about is people will bully other people.
    if you are not a popular person in school, imagine seeing half of the school negative branding you online. It is a collective bullying system.
    you can't tell the information online is real or fake.

    or someone I fired will spend all his/her time supposedly looking for Job to bad mouth me online. .

  • http://twitter.com/jonbischke Jon Bischke

    Hey Tak. Thanks for the comment. There are a few things I would add here specific to what you posted:

    Re: People bullying other people. I think this is a problem with many anonymous review sites (and even social nets for that matter). I think the problem is largely solved by penalizing people who appear to be doing this (not overly difficult to tease out I think) and to apply a “wisdom of crowds” approach. I have some ideas around this but I'm not sure it's enough to post here yet.

    Re: “you can't tell the information online is real or fake”. This will always be true to some extent but I feel like LinkedIn, Facebook and others encourage the input of “real data” given that it's tied to identity. Wisdom of crowds again comes into play here. For restaurants with 1,000+ Yelp reviews, sure, some of the data could be inaccurate, but over time it gets buried by the fact that most people are accurate with what they say online.

    I actually think the larger issue here is that it's possible that people don't actually know what they think they know about the people around them. Right now, I don't believe that's the case but my thesis may prove wrong over time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/antony.evans Antony Evans

    Check out http://getagreatboss.com/ which is trying to build this around managers in the office space

  • http://philgo20.com/ philgo20

    Hi John,

    Interesting series of post you got there.

    Even if it's mostly programming/development related, Stackoverflow.com clearly belongs to this list. Their reputation system is a very interesting one, already helping users find the best answers to their questions and getting better jobs to contributors.

    Reputation system is also a major underlying component of what we're developing at matchfwd.com. We're using internal and external data to identify best connectors, best talents and best career opportunities.

    We'd be glad to have you on when we launch given your interest for #reputationgraph ;-)

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  • http://twitter.com/jonbischke Jon Bischke

    StackOverflow definitely belongs on this list! Good catch.

    Would love to beta test! :)

  • http://twitter.com/jonbischke Jon Bischke

    Thanks Antony.

  • http://philgo20.com/ philgo20

    it's coming ;-) Alpha for a few weeks than matches are on ;-)

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  • http://twitter.com/AndrewKorf Andrew Korf

    How do you see the reputation graph being a part of the identity ownership/management in the post facebook, post linked in web? and who would you say is doing the most innovative work in identity? Certainly companies like about.me and flavors.me are baby steps in the direction of full identity ownership/management etc.

  • http://www.brandvois.com/reputation-management/ Reputation Management

    A number of people have asked me whether I think PeopleRank is the same thing as the reputation graph and so I wanted to write a short post

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