Carpool.com’s Markus Barnikel argues that, in a digital marketplace, social currency (things like trust, integrity and honesty, etc.) will matter more than in the old face-to-face world:
Previously intangible aspects such as trustworthiness and reliability can now be measured and tracked. Although this presents disturbing implications for online privacy – as the recent controversial trend of companies requesting job seekers’ Facebook login credentials demonstrated – it also means that as users of the Internet we are more accountable than ever before.
Social currency also fosters an unprecedented layer of trust by encouraging people to behave according to the rules, whether it’s laws, community guidelines or other unwritten social mores. On e-commerce sites, such as eBay and Amazon, people understand that the way they behave online will impact their ability to maintain a presence on those sites as well as perform all sorts of transactions in the future. If you’re on eBay and you’re not honest about an item you’re trying to sell, you will get a poor rating. And each time you get a poor rating, your ability to sell something at a good price drops by 10 percent. This happens because you have lost social currency. Or, in other words, you have weakened your reputation as a trustworthy and reliable user.
An interesting take on the world of e-commerce. You can read the full post here.