Brought to my attention by Google Blogoscoped, I think Reza Behforooz has an interesting idea in his post on Washington’s (the state, not the city in D.C.) recent legislation to have DUI drivers sport yellow license plates. I quote his thoughts and ideas:
I love reputation based systems like eBay and wikipedia. It’s a good way to build trust and fight spam. I personally wish there was an easy way for people to have a publicly visible reputation that was influenced by anyone. Imagine a world where people could easily point their cell phone at you and give you a plus or a minus vote. If you let someone merge in, the other driver can give you a small star. If you stop and help someone with a flat tire, you might get lots of stars. If you cut people off or cheat on the carpool lane, you get bad karma. That’s similar to PageRank. We all look at reviews for movies, restaurants, books, hotels, etc. And we look at the star rating on youtube, netflix, etc. Why not have it for people? There are now web sites that do this for professors and classes at universities. An open reputation based system is so much more effective than the usual student reviews for university faculty. Now imagine we did that in the office for everyone.
I don’t know why, but it kind of strikes me as being a good idea. Community ratings play a large role in online systems, so why not apply them to the real-world? After all, everyone has a reputation anyway. Being able to point your cell phone at people and give them a sort of “star” rating (seen on sites like YouTube, Google Video, and many others) could be the next big way to provide, say, law enforcement with a means to identify problem citizens. If people consistently get one-star ratings, that could be a sign that they’re doing something wrong. 😉