Friday, November 11, 2005

Identity/Reputation management with Opinity

What is a product like this going to buy me as a citizen of web? I can see their idea of a central repository of user reputation (something similar to Credit Reporting company). But all the big sites have their own repository and why would they want to share that. So, their basic approach would be to get the smaller websites to get to use this service. Now that is a big issue because why would most of these websites want to purchase a service they do not need. As soon as the customer pays via credit card, these people do not care about the reputation of the customer. So unless this system can help them
Lets take the model from customer point of view. Most people would like to get tangible benifits out of this before they would be ready to aggregate their identity information in one place. This could be in form of discount in online stores. In addition to that the reputation needs to be integrated with a identity engine that can build a central repository of their profile (which will include their blogs, comments on other websites for products, etc) across the web which can then be converted into his reputation (because without the "identity" you will not know who are the people talking about since there could be really large number of "John Doe" out there).
May be I am thinking too far into the future. At the moment, it could be more like something that gamers and others involved in online activities (like chat ) would use to aggregate and share their information out of box.

2 comments:

Ted Cho said...

Shekhar,

It is so exciting to see people talk about Opinity. I really think it's cool. Thank you so much for giving your thoughts about Opinity.

Opinity lets users create reputation profiles that aggregate their existing reputation from different sources. Although currently you can consolidate pretty much only online reputation elements, you will soon be able to include even your offline reputation as well - your certificates, credentials, membership info etc. - with *verification*.

Opinity do not only rely on data feed from other sites. Public information will be scraped/fed, and more importantly self-asserted information can be authenticated via our own and partner's verification service.

Even big sites do not have big enough repository today and that is because reputation is not 'portable' yet. Your reputation is scattered on and off the Internet. However, with verification, a claim that a user owns a certain ID can be turned into a fact that the person owns the associated reputation. When a person proves that he/she owns multiple id's, the reputation from those sites are effectively consolidated.

Opinity is a service for individuals that care about their own reputation. It is for those who want to aggregate, manage, monitor and control, thus truly own their reputation.

I am the first to admit that the current implementation is far from our ultimate vision, but it is our first step towards empowering the user.

Sincerely,

Ted Cho
CEO, Opinity

Shekhar Jha said...

Ted,
Thanks for your clarification. It is not that I do not like "Web 2.0" concepts like reputation, attention, etc. I am just trying to understand how these concepts will or can be converted into feasible business models. In regards to that, I am really glad that your company is developing the products that may help internet take the next step in terms of making it's citizen easily identifiable.
Best of luck to your company and I will really be following your company very closely going ahead.