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Portable Reputation

Portable Reputation

Rajat Paharia

06/25/2013

By Rajat Paharia, Founder and Chief Product Officer
@rajatrocks

You’ve probably heard the phrase “Your reputation precedes you.” And hopefully it was in a positive context. Because increasingly, it does just that. You’ve always had a personal reputation, and now you have a digital one that you build every day. And it goes everywhere you go… and beyond.

The concept of a portable reputation has been around for years--you can go back as far as 2005 to see technology writer Robert Hof wondering on BusinessWeek.com, “Are Online Reputations Portable?”

Back then, eBay users were clamoring to have their reputations travel with them to other auction sites, personal sites and every site in between. A strong online reputation then wasn’t so easy to come by, and once buyers and sellers had spent the time and effort to build one, they wanted to wear it like a badge of honor to every site they visited.

Fast forward to 2013, and portable reputations have taken on a life of their own. A solid online reputation can be instrumental in getting a promotion, closing a business transaction, or even scoring a date. Portable digital reputations are increasingly seen as essential components to career building and life building, and users are eager to create them.

Today, you don’t just build your reputation on a single site like eBay, but through every activity you perform online. Through participation in social communities like Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, and websites like Yahoo and YouTube, you build your portable reputation. Even enterprise HCM, CRM and ERP apps can funnel information into your R-E-P.

And that’s where gamification comes in. Gamification platforms are known to provide hard evidence of a genuine, deserved reputation--verifiable on the employee’s profile page where earned badges, current status, and previous accomplishments are displayed. Completed courses, accreditations, experience working with other teams and an abundance of other relevant professional information are all readily available.

Bunchball’s Nitro gamification platform integrates directly into business platforms like IBM Connections, salesforce.com, Nice Systems and Jive to collect information. But today’s leading gamification platforms don’t stop there. Nitro can engage audiences on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram through the engine’s Social Media Module as well. 

Nitro captures real-time personal activity data from business and social sources to track, measure, record and construct a more comprehensive personal online reputation. The variety of data gathered through this collection of resources is centralized into a single instance of Nitro to provide a true 360-degree view of the reputation of an individual. And organizations then have the ability to cut that data in any way they like--evaluating a person through whatever lens is required.

Side note: I’ve heard rumors that some gamification solutions can’t support this and maintain a separate reputation for each community, platform, app, etc. but it’s not likely. That’s probably just a few less-than-ethical gamification vendors spreading FUD about competitive products. It certainly wouldn’t be an efficient nor cost-effective way of managing a reputation.

Technical methodologies aside, let’s step back and consider the implications of the above. Today, we can combine big data—in terms of the massive amount of information users generate in both business and personal contexts—with proven motivational techniques, and tie them together in a gamified environment. This gives us a granular, 360-degree view of an individual and with it, the information (read: power) to continuously motivate, incent and build true loyalty on an individualized level.  And furthermore, it opens the door to the development of predictive models that can project audience behaviors. We are truly on the cusp of a new paradigm.

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