Reputation of Communities: Who Shares with Whom?


by Grace Rachmany

November 18, 2020

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Reputation in Community

Reputation can be designed as an alternative to centralized coordination. If communities had reputations, they could decide how to interact with one another. Do you want to trade only with communities with a certain carbon footprint? Ones who have a reputation as generous? Ones who are new and need more help because you have surplus and want to help them get off the ground? Instead of creating a network with criteria for being “in” or “out”, we could design reputation so that everyone would be free to interact with the others according to their preferences.

In the discussion above, we mention all of the following factors as influencing a decision of a group as to how to interact with other groups or individuals. Note that the discussion talked about different types of interactions. In many case the interaction was simply to share with others, with no exchange expected. For example, if a community has surplus food they can’t eat, they would want to just give it away to other communities in the network.


  • Reliability: Do they consistently keep promises or manage it well when they make a mistake or don’t keep a promise.
  • Honesty
  • Social contract: If my community takes care of the elderly, for example, and yours throws out people when they get old, my community wouldn’t want to share with you (but they might be willing to trade).
  • Track record of sharing/surplus use: When the community has surplus, do they generally share it or try to make a profit?
  • Environmental footprint: Carbon footprint, regenerative agriculture, recycling, and other types of regenerative activity.
  • Impact and Return on investment.
  • Equitable internal distribution: Will the goods we share go equitably to the participants of the community, or are there some preferred groups or leaders who are disproportionately rewarded.
  • Justice: If there are disputes between us, is there a good system to resolve it .
  • Good citizenship: Is the group generally pleasant to work with and do they participate in regional activities or pitch in when their help is needed?
  • Participation levels in community in general.
  • Ease of transaction: Is it easy to make the transaction or are there bureaucratic or other complications.
  • Proximity and cost of transportation.
  • Willingness to solve problems if they come up.
  • Reciprocity:
  • Values: Do they share my values? For example, if I am sharing medical care, do they encourage/discourage vaccination? If our food is biologically produced, are they environmentally conscious? Are they vegan? Do they welcome people from different political views, ages, nationalities, etc? Do they support local initiatives to improve regional government?
  • Care and preservation: Do they care for things? For example, if they borrow a truck, do they return it in good shape and with a full tank?

Notably, different types of sharing could have different reputations associated with them. For example, a community might always be willing to share surplus food, but hosting someone to stay there would require a certain behavioral profile.