convince those with the most social capital within each small group in order to have the possibility of winning the support of the majority of small groups.
3 Construction of Reputation for Network Members
Social networks can be especially important in the construction of a person’sreputation. This is especially apparent in online marketplaces such as eBay. eBay is anexample of a large multi-user system where interpersonal communication betweenmembers is scarce. In systems such as this, it can be very difficult for members to build areputation without the aide of specific tools for this purpose. Reputation can be defined asthe common or general estimate of a person with respect to character or other qualities.This estimate is necessarily formed and updated over time with the help of differentsources of information. Sociologists have been studying how social networks can be usedto update and analyze trust and reputation. These studies show that it is possible to say alot about the behavior of individuals using the information obtained from the analysis of their social networks.
3.1 Application to E-Commerce Communities
Researchers have created a model to describe how reputation is determined in ane-commerce community. Their model considers three types of relationships betweencommunity members. These relationships are competition, cooperation, and trade.Competition is the type of relation found between two or more members that pursue thesame goals and need the same scarce resources. Competition generally has a negativeimpact on the reputations of those involved. Cooperation implies significant exchange of sincere information between the members and some form of predisposition to help eachother. Cooperation tends to improve the reputations of members who participate. Tradereflects the existence of commercial transactions between two agents and is compatiblewith either cooperative or competitive relations. Trade generally helps a member’sreputation but can also hurt it. This model also uses three types of social reputationdepending on the information source. These are witness, neighborhood, and systemreputations. Witness reputation is based on the information about a member coming fromother members who share a relationship with that member. Neighborhood reputation usesthe social environment of the member, that is, the neighbors of the member and their relations with it. System reputation is a default reputation value based on the relations themember is currently engaged in and has belonged to in the past. For example, thosemembers who have consistent competition relationships will receive a negative systemreputation value .The use of the social network analysis techniques as part of a reputation systemopens a new field for experimentation. Once you introduce the social dimension inreputation evaluation and the members start to take into account social relations, it becomes more and more important to consider not only which is the reputation of theother members, but also what can a member do to get and maintain a good reputation.Efficient methods of evaluating reputations can lead to more hospitable relations amongmembers of the community. Users may be less inclined to enter competitive relations