Thursday, March 24, 2005

Perfect Peopleweb Application - Reputation

this is an obvious point but i'll make it with a new example. the first use for the open peopleweb will be to link to your identity as a measure of reputation for transactions. this will be rudimentary in that it wont offer up people's feedback on you as a transactor, but seems to me that just seeing someone has a 'real' identity will make people feel better than dealing with a screen name or anonymous/screen name.

my example - stubhub. i just bought tix for the upcoming U2 concert in san jose on stubhub. while i'm amazed by how easy this is to accomplish (i got floor seats too!), i am worried by the prospect of fraud. for those new to the web black market for tickets, what happens is the seller sends you a printout from ticketmaster listing the seat and a bar code. while stubhub has developed a good model of 'guaranteeing' the ticket, you still face the prospect of showing up and finding out someone else or many others were sold the same e-tickets. stubhub points out that they keep the sellers credit card and can charge back, however, it seems trivial for a seller to make out big on one show by selling a large number of repeats and cancelling their card prior to charge backs. they point out that ebay doesnt offer any guarantee, but i'm doubting you'll be that comforted by the prospect of your money back when you drove down to san jose with 5 friends and got shut out of U2. i'd rather have ebay's ratings so i can see that others were satisfied. and i'd really rather have both.

potential answer with peopleweb - there should be one or more independently hosted reputation systems that sellers can take with them to any marketplace (buyers too) and simply point to in their mini profile. these should be sucked into a broader public profile maintained on their blog or profile page. AND ebay should decouple their reputation system to do this. just as paypal (which i hear is now 25% of ebay's revenue) does pmt processing for any site, so should ebay ratings power stubhub.