Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Why ratings and reputation are so vital to a community

Ratings and their success in creating reputations - and Common-Pool Resources such as justice - are an essential element of any community.
Elinor Ostrom identified eight design properties for stable CPR systems:

  1. Clearly defined boundaries
  2. Congruence between appropriation and provision rules and local conditions
  3. Collective-choice arrangements allowing for the participation of most of the appropriators in the decision making process
  4. Effective monitoring by monitors who are part of or accountable to the appropriators
  5. Graduated sanctions for appropriators who do not respect community rules
  6. Conflict-resolution mechanisms which are cheap and easy of access
  7. Minimal recognition of rights to organize (e.g., by the government)
  8. In case of larger CPRs: Organisation in the form of multiple layers of nested entreprises, with small, local CPRs at their bases.
If you can see past the language of academia... think of what eBay provides, how it ticks off those boxes - and you get a big hint as to why it's worked.

I was interested in the approach thegorb.com takes to ratings and reputation, in my post Social Consumers - and what ratings are for.

So I'm starting to consider how best to apply a rating system.

I'll float one that, for no good reason, I'll call Get Out of Dodge. In this community each member starts off with three tokens they can use. When they run out of these tokens they must 'Get Out of Dodge'.

They can use these tokens to indicate their displeasure at the behaviour of another member.
If a member gets hit with a total of three tokens against them - they have to get out of dodge.

The upside is that the community member really has to carefully consider their use of their tokens. Effectively, each time they use their token, while they damage the reputation of the other person, they also restrict their future choices within the community.

The downside is that the good policeman, the active regulator of the community - risks losing their choices, influence, and ultimately membership of the community.

But I have a caveat. Members of the community can come together to negotiate. If a group of people feel one other person really needs a token scored against them, but they haven't got enough left of their own, they may call on a token rich member of the community to 'pay' for them. They'll have to make a reasoned argument - and illustrate and reinforce the mores of the community as they go about it.

And there are bonus tokens available - handed out at the discretion of the community.

So good work, positive policing, fair management, gets rewarded. Holding more of these tokens to spend clearly gives you greater influence/control over the community.

I'm not at all precious about this - it's just a thought experiment - and your suggestions are very welcome. So what do we think?

No comments:

Post a Comment

FasterFuture.blogspot.com

The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?