SezWho – A Step Toward Reputation Management

image SezWho is an interesting new tool that helps blogs and bloggers establish comment credibility. It works via a plugin (presently only available for the WordPress and MovableType platforms). By allowing blog comments to be rated, SezWho helps: 1) Readers, who benefit from the ratings next to each comment. 2) Commenters, who are able to better establish their reputation. To read more about how SezWho works, read the posts on VentureBeat or Read / Write Web.

SezWho’s reputation management system extends beyond an individual blog but will only work on those sites that have the plugin installed. “Work” in this case means pulling the entirety of your comment history into your profile. 

This limitation means the tool is not quite as useful as it could be. SezWho has the opportunity to combat a major problem of the Internet — anonymity — by establishing better trust. But their current model of implementation requires them to experience a network effect (i.e., their plugin must exist on a large number of sites) before their system can become legitimate. With only a small number of sites adapting their plugin, SezWho cannot offer credible reputation management.

One way to change that would be to allow comment owners to self-identify their comments on blogs that either: 1) Do not have the plugin installed. 2) Are not platforms supported by the SezWho plugin. Providing this functionality would be a valuable resource to help combat comment fraud, by creating a definitive location for all comments made by an individual in the blogosphere (see some previous thoughts on Anonymity, Identity, and the Internet).

I installed the SezWho plugin but it appears to only be partially working right now. I troubleshot it a bit but have become bored (only parts of the code seem to be appearing in my source). Anyone else with WordPress having the same issues?