June 25, 2003
The Reputations Research Network is collecting research on reputation systems (hence the name).
Reputation and managing it across time and context will be a key role for someone or something on the Net. It will be interesting to see if it is possible to develop a portable reputation (vs. the local reputation users have within systems like eBay or amazon.com).
Here’s the Reputation Research Networks mission:
This site is for researchers who are studying how reputation systems should work in theory, how they actually work in practice, and how they could work better. You can find out about people, papers, and practical systems. And you can contribute pointers to useful information.
Note that the NYT wrote an article about this project called More Companies Pay Heed to Their ‘Word of Mouse’ Reputation.
September 28, 2001
VeriSign may also be a player in authentication services according to this article on CNET.com.
The Sun Microsystem’s backed “Liberty Alliance Project” appears to be an open-source counter proposal to Microsoft’s Passport. I say “appears” because at this point not that much is know about the details of either system from a practical perspective.
This InfoWorld article gives a good overview of the announcement of Liberty by Sun and its partners. It also makes the obvious conclusion that this is still largely vaporware.
While it is still too early to tell what will come of these “universal log-on” services, it is important for us to watch this area develop. The proliferation of log-on schemes and user ID/password combinations is one hindrance to web usability that would be nice to do away with. Authenticated surfing may not please privacy advocates, but it should make content sites happy if they can start offering the bulk of currently free content as “free when authenticated” in the future. A lot of the “1–1 Marketing” hyperbole comes closer to reality when you can recognize people and their associated profiles on each visit. If Passport and/or Liberty succeed, I predict that we won’t see ANY content sites that offer more than headlines without authentication.