Online Community Motivations and Reputations

Faris left this rather good link about motivations for contributing to online communities to in the comments. I’m not going to summarise it here. But there’s a couple of thoughts I had about how this might change in the future…
It’s interesting to think how this might all change once our digital identities are no longer tied to individual sites or reputation systems. So if I turn up at a new community with my Amazon Top 100 reviewer badge and 3 gold Ebay stars (not that I have either of those things), would it make me more or less attractive to the people who are there. I guess it all depends on whether it’s a community that respects those ‘tribal’ badges.

And what happens if I get found out as having been a member of a ‘rival’ community in the past. Or, if in my wayward youth, I was badly behaved in a community and got chucked out of somewhere. Online ASBOs anyone…

I guess the point I’m trying to make is that if motivations and behaviours are motivated in certain ways, once those motivations extend outside of a ‘local’ online space, and become ‘global’ then the whole game changes. And I reckon that once various pieces of online ID become joined-up it’s going to get pretty tricky to erase unwanted parts of your history. It’s not like in the offline world where only a few people have access to your ‘files’, most of the things you’ve said and done in a public online space are stored indefinitely for all to see.

Which reminds me of a great presentation I watched a while ago – Dick Hardt from Sxip talking about Identity 2.0. Great content and great style.

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