Reputation Economies and Disputes

December 21, 2008

Reputation Economies and Disputes

Fast Company talks about the “reputation economy” in its December issue. We have heard that term before because it applies to the exercise of lifting your own reviewer ratings when you write something on Wikipedia or post a video online.  Companies such as amazon and ebay have always been about the reputation economy as people review books and sell or buy products online.  The reputation economy has become more complicated as newcomers arrive such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, Angie’s List and Urbanspoon.  I have gone to all these sites looking for reviews although I must say that I am never sure how to discern which reviewers I can trust. I mostly get overwhelmed and move on. The article in Fast Company, however, is about a dispute at Yelp where they banned some members and they in turn started a class-action lawsuit along with the customary site. The argument is about who has the power to censor and harm another’s reputation. Sounds like a whole new class of lawyer will have to emerge to settle these types of disputes on the reputation trade.


I thought I would also mention another interesting dispute covered in Advertising Age. A message on Twitter complained about a management consulting company’s trade booth at Adobe Max and called them complete clowns.  A digital strategy director at the company, Sapient, debated about sending back an angry response – will it draw more attention? Should I wait and see how much impact the original twitter made? As the Sapient exec Freddie Laker said, “Social media presents tremendous opportunities to connect with potential customers but it also requires a thick skin, some self-restraint and most importantly, the wisdom to know when and how to communicate.” Among the advice he offers, one is uppermost in my mind…think twice before you respond. In fact, I would say think thrice (three times).


Reputations are increasingly vulnerable online and no one will be spared. That is obvious at this point.




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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross

As Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist, I focus on the ever changing world of reputation. For the past 25 years, I have relentlessly observed, researched and commented on the rise and fall of corporate and CEO reputations.

  • Paul
    Posted at 14:48h, 03 March Reply

    I found your article to be rather interesting. I am also compiling some information about “reputation economy” for a post on my blog and will be including a link to your post. Of particular interest to me is the growing burden and responsibility of companies who wish to truly address the needs and complains of perhaps their most vocal customers. How does one navigate the veritable labryinth of true relational interactions in a professional manner with a growing pool of people they have never met? Thanks for the article

  • naga
    Posted at 10:39h, 17 October Reply

    I am also compiling some information about reputation economy for a post on my blog and will be including a link to your post. Thank you

  • text to speech
    Posted at 17:11h, 17 October Reply

    I think this is a big issue. If it is not solved properly, it may cause a lot of problems.

    Posted at 11:07h, 19 October Reply

    cool article, spot on!

  • CSCS
    Posted at 06:17h, 20 October Reply

    I like you article. It is really informative post.

  • Cyber Design
    Posted at 11:27h, 03 November Reply

    nice sharing, i like it! thanx for sharing

  • CSCS
    Posted at 06:37h, 02 December Reply

    It is good and informative post. I like your all the information about reputation management.

  • Louise
    Posted at 01:38h, 12 December Reply

    Hi there! This article could not be written any better! Looking at this post reminds me of my previous roommate!He constantly kept preaching about this. I most certainly will forward this post to him. Fairly certain he’s going to have a great read.

    Thanks for sharing!

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