How Your 8-year Old Is Building A Digital Reputation

In this post I’ll be using the words “trust” and “reputation” interchangeably.

One of my favorite posts here at Progress Report was written by Kanyi Maqubela regarding how the credit score is outdated (If FICO & Klout Had A Baby). One individual’s assets, behaviors and reputation are rarely taken into consideration to calculate their overall credit score. This causes a large number of false positives and leaves credit-worthy people without access to capital.

Nick Grossman at Union Square Ventures posted annotated slides of a keynote talk he gave at Yahoo!. In his insightful post he defends a trust system architecture with three components in its backbone: peer trust (trust among peers — e.g. eBay ratings), public trust (related to regulatory and liability challenges — e.g. Uber, AirBnB), and platform trust (related to how platforms work in good faith and fair policies — e.g. Snapchat privacy snafu.)

As Kanyi mentioned in his post, we’ll announce investments in startups that aim to make the financial system more inclusive. And they should surely be conscious of Nick’s architecture layers.

I am particularly interested in companies that focus on Nick’s first layer: establishing trust among peers. And to a higher degree in an emergent category of users who aren’t yet inserted in the social web: young kids.

This new generation of digital natives has something to learn with the “mistakes” made by the digital immigrants, as well as with the first wave of digital natives that by now have an imprint of their lives all over the social web.

It’s not that the oncoming digital native generation should swing the pendulum back from oversharing (maybe they will, who knows?). It’s more about creating ways for them to build their reputation from the very moment they dive into the social stream. Ten year olds don’t tweet, nor are they on Facebook or Linkedin.

How would you build your reputation if you could start back when you were 10 years old? What interactions and events would you carry from that age on to college and then to your professional and adult life?

We’ve been thinking about these questions and the category that keeps recurring is gaming. Gaming communities are probably the first experience kids have in the online world. Maybe it starts with the sandboxed Club Penguin and moves up to vanilla Minecraft to semi-underground PvP servers. Kids socialize when they play games and their behavior creates implicit reputation.

That could be the starting point.

This post originally appeared on Medium.


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