I've been re-reading Down and Out In The Magic Kingdom again, and it really is all that good. If you haven't read it yet, you might want to check out the HTML
version of it online.
Now that it has become apparent that people are ready to look to new ways of managing information, money and intangible assets (such as "knowlege"), it seems like a good time to start talking about what kind of system would be fair and ideal -- just to give us something to strive for as we reshape our future.
Besides being a great read and a lot of fun (which is, of course, always the first requirement of any book I recommend), I feel that this book is an important one, because it really provides lots of excellent tangible examples of how a Reputation Economy might work.
Reputation systems are something that I have been fascinated with and meaning to write about for some time, but there were so many people already writing about them that knew so much more than me, and I realized about this time two years ago that I had so much to learn, I'd better just shut up and learn from other people for a few years before trying to teach anyone else about them.
Basically, in a reputation economy, you are rewarded with points when you do good things for the overall population. These points can vary in value between discounts on merchandise (in certain instances) or simply earning you respect among your peers.
Here's a clip from the Book's Prologue that helps to explain the concept better. (I'm rummaging around for some good papers on this too.)
... Whuffie recaptured the true essence of money: in the old days, if you were broke but respected, you wouldn’t starve; contrariwise, if you were rich and hated, no sum could buy you security and peace. By measuring the thing that money really represented—your personal capital with your friends and neighbors—you more accurately gauged your success.
More on this soon. I just wanted to get the ball rolling...Posted by Lisa at January 22, 2003 06:38 PM | TrackBack