"How Much for the Little Girl?" A Terrifying Human Reputation Market Looms

Here’s some horsemen of the apocalypse of the coming Reputation Market, in which all humans will be searchable, sortable and assigned a value by a judge, jury and executioner of their peers across the Internet. For the delectation of their favorite brands and/or employers!

• “Enliken’s users voluntarily download software that tracks their online activity. A personal dashboard lets them limit what gets captured and sold to advertisers. Users pick one of several independent charities to receive the proceeds.”

• Startup founder Chris Carella has mickey-moused something together that’s a little janky but genius: his personal website draws together various outputs under the categories of his last five activities. Because it’s true: if you assimilate your Facebook, your Twitter, your Foursquare, your everything else, you end up with a semi-controlled lifecast that’s both geotagged and of great interest to brands. (Also: always have an alibi for murders!)

• LinkedIn just added the limited ability to “follow” people, which is basically not going to be good for anyone. They’re helping superstars build brands! But with much less fanfare, they also introduced endorsements. (Basically, this is like “I give Juan a +K in Doin’ Business,” Klout style. (Klout was one of the original horsemen of reputational apocalypse.)) This is good, sort of! I mean we all like a personal referral, right? And also: “Linkedin endorsements, PageRank for people,” wrote Andy Sandoz, creative director of Work Club. Yup. It’s all fun and games until someone wants to ruin your life, and then you’ll never work again, and then brands won’t want anything to do with you.

AND THEN there’s this, which basically everyone I know was invited to on Facebook this morning.


But more importantly, let me just note that someone already feels compelled to use an acronym for Online Reputation Management. Game over. You’ve gotta fight, for your right, to have a reputation.