In the Virtual World, You are Your Reputation
Remember in high school, there were certain kids you knew you shouldn’t hang out with? Either they were going out getting drunk and talking about it the next day or you heard throught the “grapevine” that they weren’t to be messed with.
The same is true in the business world. Even more so in the Virtual World. You are your reputation. In the world of Personal Branding, having the reputation of someone who either doesn’t know what he/she is doing, or worse, doesn’t mind stepping on others for personal gain, could destroy you and your career!
Social Networking Strategist Jay Deragon discusses the difficulty in creating a system of protecting one’s reputation on-line. “The online social networks of human interaction are challenging the accumulated wisdom on how virtual human interactions can occur and subsequently how trust and reputation are established.”
Ebay, the online auction site, allows its members to rate others with whom they do business. If I were to buy something from you, I would get the chance to give you a rating as a vendor. (Whether my purchase was as it was advertised (no stains, scratches, etc.) or how soon after I paid I received the item.) Likewise, you would have the chance to rate me as a buyer. (How quickly after the end of the auction I paid, and if there were any problems with the transaction.)
“For each transaction, buyers and sellers can rate each other by leaving Feedback. Feedback consists of a rating (positive, negative, or neutral), and a short comment. These ratings are used to determine Feedback Scores.”
This rating system seems to work for Ebay users. Why wouldn’t be possible to set something like that up in the social networking sites? If you have spent any time at all on ebay, you know that having an excellent vendor/buyer rating is priceless! And it should be: The better the rating, the more likely the person/business is to have future transactions.
I think that the same is true with e-commerce sites and members of social networks. The more positive comments you have on whatever site you choose to have as your primary, the more likely you are to getting more business.
How ’bout it?