Establishing Reputations

Reputations are a tool we use everyday. Most people will warn their friends and family members about unsavory sorts and recommend reputable individuals. When looking for a new restaurant it’s not that uncommon this day and age to check for reviews on sites like Yelp. Successful businesses can find themselves in bankruptcy if their reputation becomes tarnished. Hell, I just bought a new shaver from the manufacturer of my old shaver specifically because of the positive reputation that company has established with me. With how important reputations are to most us of I am having a difficult time understand the outrage over this app:

You can already rate restaurants, hotels, movies, college classes, government agencies and bowel movements online.

So the most surprising thing about Peeple — basically Yelp, but for humans — may be the fact that no one has yet had the gall to launch something like it.

When the app does launch, probably in late November, you will be able to assign reviews and one- to five-star ratings to everyone you know: your exes, your co-workers, the old guy who lives next door. You can’t opt out — once someone puts your name in the Peeple system, it’s there unless you violate the site’s terms of service. And you can’t delete bad or biased reviews — that would defeat the whole purpose.

My question isn’t how a company could have the gall to release this but why it’s taken so long for something like this to be developed. The Internet has made it possible for people who have never met and have no common friends in real life to have meaningful relationships (be they friendship, business, or even romantic). As this trend continues to become more common a replacement for personal reputation recommendations needs to be developed. Will this app be it? Only time will tell. But it’s certainly a contender in a market with apparently few contenders.