Thursday, July 10, 2008

Naymz reputation management website

Mr Tom Worthington FACS, HLM
Someone invited me to join the Naymz reputation management website. This is a little like the Linked-In business social networking website, with all the features removed, except the ability to rate other people. The service seems to be new and yet to be proven: no one seems to be saying anything bad about it so far, just that a social networking site needs to build up a community before it is proven.

View Tom Worthington's profile on LinkedIn
Naymz seem to be attempting to speed up that process by making it easy for people to import their list of contact from Linked-In and similar systems. The process of building your reputation is a points scoring exercise, where you get points for entering details about yourself and for verification of those details. You are rewarded for having more points by being more visible in the system as well as it contributing to your "rep score" (reputation).

Simply by having someone invite me to join the system and putting in some details I got a score of 6. By adding some links to my Linked-In and Yahoo profiles, plus my blog, my score went up to 7. But the system seems to work on the reputation of the people in the system, so the more they do to get their score up, the more I will need to do.

Some verification you can do yourself, as with your email address, but this mostly an exercise in getting your peers to vouch for you.

The basic service is free, but like Linked In, Naymz make their money in two ways: advertising and selling premium services.

Services like Naymz may seem a very mechanical way to duplicate the subtle processes of creating a professional reputation. But something very similar is used by academics to rate each other. Such systems are sued to hand out millions of dollars in grant money. Those systems are partly informal and subject to manipulation, with limited ability to audit the system. Also a lot of money, time and effort goes into those manual processes. Perhaps if an online system were used, the quality of research could be improved and the cost reduced.

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