What's the Difference Between Trust and Reputation?

by asdfasdfasd almost 9 years ago

Trust and reputation are two words that get used so often and similarly on the web that they get confused with each other. Can I trust him? What's her reputation? Discussing the meaning of trust and reputation as well as examining how they fit together will hopefully give you a better idea of how Credport works.

To start, I'd like to refer back to a previous blog post to come up with a definition of trust - What is trust?. "In terms of a person, this means that someone is trustworthy if his or her actions are almost always what you expect an ideal person to do. Someone who isn’t trustworthy will frequently deviate from your expectations. In short, trust is your ability to accurately predict another person’s behavior."

If I were to say that a babysitter was trustworthy, I would mean that there is a high probability she will take good care of the children she is tasked with watching. The more I trust her, the better the probability.

On the other hand, reputation isn't a prediction of the future, but knowledge of the past. As sociologist Barbara Misztal states [1], reputation is a memory tied to a specific identity. It's a collectively agreed upon version of how history has taken place.

Your eBay reputation is a combined history of how you've behaved in all of your previous transactions. It's eBay's memory of your actions.


So then how do trust and reputation fit together?

Simply, a strong reputation builds trust. If I can see how you've acted in the past, then I'm more likely to be able to predict how you will act in the future. For example, if I can see that you've gotten 10 positive reviews as a host on Airbnb (your reputation), then I am much more likely to believe you will be a good host if I choose to stay with you (trust).

Credport is a way to aggregate your reputation in one place - therefore increasing the likelihood that people trust you. Seeing that you've been a good citizen in one place on the web is a much better indication that you will be in the future as opposed to just a name and picture.

And for those people who don't necessarily have a big reputation already out there, don't worry. Since you bring your social graph to Credport as well, people can also see how they're connected to you, whether it's via a common friend or a business partner.

Hopefully that clears the meaning up - I'd love to hear what you think in the comments!

People, Profiles and Trust https://www.lulu.com/browse/product_thumbnail.php?productId=3498202&resolution=320

Just to give you a bit of background: I wanted to write this post after reading a book (http://trustmojo.com/) on trust written by the founders of Soundcloud, Eric Wahlforss and Alexander Ljung. Funny to find out that one of the biggest startups in Berlin was founded by a few guys who were just as into online trust as we are (they actually wrote a book about it!). This book has a few topics worth posting about, but just wanted to start here.

[1] found on page 95 of "People, Profiles, and Trust"

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