February 05, 2003

Michele and the girls just rolled out on the morning school run. I've got a few minutes to tidy up and even blog before heading to work.

I've started reading Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctrow. It's not long, and I've blown through about half the books in two days. I kinda feel like I'm eating candy in the movie theater and the taste is so good, I'll have an empty box before the movie starts. I should probably slow down a bit and savor it.

I like Doctrow's take on the idea of 'whuffie'. Whuffie is roughly a measure of the esteem others hold you in. Imagine having an eBay feedback measurement for not just your buy/sell behavior, but for how you deal with people and how hard others perceive you work. At work, we often refer to it as 'juice'. It's intangible power given to you by others because they believe you are doing good things. Kinda hard to explain, but believe me, 'juice' plays a big role in how Disney works. Yes, title rank is important, but those with the most 'juice' are the ones that drive the company.

In Bruce Sterling's book, Distraction, he also talks about 'trust networks' and their role in future society. I have to agree with these guys that this type of whuffie/trust rating is going to play a larger role in our society going forward. The net has brought people closer together, but in a way that eliminates society's previous methods of introduction. People needs a method to evaluate those they met online as only a screen name or web site.

You can see the beginnings at places like heatware.com, a feedback/trust site outside of a specific trading site. If you go to resellerratings.com, you can see what other people think of online merchants. It's quite nice to review other people experiences with a company before handing them your credit card. Will it ever be orgainized into a single database like 'whuffie', not for while. But will it happen? Yes.

OK, time for work. More later.

Posted by michael at February 05, 2003 08:17 AM