Information overload, challenges of evaluating quality, and the opportunity to benefit from experiences of others have spurred the development of reputation systems. Most Internet sites which mediate between large numbers of people use some form of reputation mechanism: Slashdot, eBay, ePinions, Amazon, and Google all make use of collaborative filtering, recommender systems, or shared judgements of quality.
But we suggest the potential utility of reputation services is far greater, touching nearly every aspect of society. By leveraging our limited and local human judgement power with collective networked filtering, it is possible to promote an interconnected ecology of socially beneficial reputation systems -- to restrain the baser side of human nature, while unleashing positive social changes and enabling the realization of ever higher goals.
[ I finally mangaed to read this entire paper, and so I'm finally comfortable recommending it. There's not a great deal of depth in any area, of course, but as a general survey of the current state of thinking/efforts in this area, it makes a great starting point. I recognized many of the citations, but not most of them, and there are a lot. Any non-expert who's interested in reputation systems will probably find something worthwhile here. -k]