We had a great lunch with Mary yesterday where we discussed this article and her comments about reputation portability. Ironically enough Mary's comments excerpted and therefore were not complete. She articulated more deeply in our discussion how the the meaning of an eBay reputation has meaning within that community. When you extract it out of that community and look at it as someone who is not a member do the numbers have 'meaning' in the same way they do for those in the community.
Comment from Ivan the below article...
A small company called Opinity is trying to address this issue by aggregating many different sources of reputation data (ie. eBay rating, credit rating, etc.) to enable sites to interact w/individuals to get the reputation item they need for that trusted interaction to take place
This guy gets it! They are actually not just aggregating 'reputation data' and ratings but also membership in various website communities (you can say you have xhandle over on site Y when you are making comments on bulletin board Z but how do you prove it? Opintiy gives you tools to do this.
If identity is what others say about you (Dick has defined it this way in his identity 2.0 talk). If you are a member of an organization and they assert that about you. (how else do you show someone the membership cards in your wallet online?) Opinity gives people tools to support you authenticating your memberships in various organizations.
...I'm afraid that they may have a "chicken and the egg" problem in getting people using the service in order to get sites to support it and w/no sites supporting it users will be hard to come by.
This is where his understanding break down. Opinity is offering its services to communities/websites to use.
Opinity is much the same, although they offer partners the opportunity to tap into the data. These centralized data plays have no chance on today’s internet. Why even bother.
Here’s what we need - a referee and a scorekeeper. Open (I didn’t say free, mind you) APIs in and out, not just links to feedback scores. Figure out the rules (keep it flexible) and let other applications feed the database. Somebody please build this. Or eBay, open up your Feedback API.
I’m not alone in pleading for this. See what Rob Hof and others have to say as well.