Emergence and reputations:
A couple of weeks ago Shaun Smith asked me "what can I use trust metrics for?" I didn't really have an answer. I still don't.
In reading Emergence I've come to believe that the ideas behind trust metrics, reputation systems, reputation spaces (more about this one of these days), blog trees/rolls and FOAF networks are all intrinsically related. Out of that morass we ought to be able derive systems that will enable people to find clusters of like-minded or interesting individuals. In the same way Google can find pages related to certain keywords we should be able to use a system to find related people.
The tricky bit is the implementation.
It's ironic that raph is asking bytesplit to leave. I had always considered the appearance of someone like bytesplit to be precisely the kinds of 'attack' that Advogato's trust metric was designed to protect against. So why isn't it working?
Firstly people aren't giving out certifications according to the guidelines and secondly the existing trust metric doesn't offer a way to 'de-privilege' someone till they're invisible to you. The diary rating system is a good first step towards that goal.
danf: I had considered the idea of multi-dimensional networks but rejected them in favour of an approach which treats the results of various parallel (and potentially unrelated) trust networks/metrics as a set of co-ordinates in a reputation space (the spatial metaphor enables you to consider the effects of time on ratings and plot an entity's path through space to see if it's similar to others). Reducing an entity's rating in n different networks to one value is tempting but not as useful as a tuple of ratings with a canonical ordering. This way every network that represents a dimension with an assigned number. These tuples can be used to map the locations of other entities. Then a user can define those regions in this reputation space that they value. For instance I might value the cluster of entities that have some rating in the Advogato dimension, a high rating in the Python dimension, a rating in the J2EE blog dimension and a greater than 61% rating in the Java Certification dimension.
Yenta by one of Patty "Firefly" Maes's graduate students named Lenny Foner is a similar idea but with actual downloadable code rather than vapour. Funnily enough I didn't actually find out about Yenta till I started searching for a decent link to Firefly to put this diary entry in context.