But What If You’re Un-Googleable?
by Alexia Tsotsis
Investor and serial entrepreneur Chris Dixon has written a notable (and mercifully short !) blog post about how social utilities like Google and Facebook have essentially become reputation engines powering the emergence of collaborative consumption startups like Airbnb and TaskRabbit.
Dixon’s argument is that Google search has replaced social proof — Um okay sure. This kind of oversimplification overlooks the major
The premise behind emerging reputation-startups like Klout is that people will eventually outsource stuff like online reputation — due to being overwhelmed and blindsided by the current Internet to an IRL thrust. Because Google search is not always a meritocracy — and somebody can totally cash in on that.
Forreals yo; In third grade being the unique and uncommon ‘Alexia Tsotsis‘ sucked, but, in adult life I’m all like,”Hell yeah!” As the only Alexia Tsotsis in the world right now I feel pretty damn good – Woot. These things are important, but equally not.
Because what if you have a more ubiquitous name , like Sean Parker or Jason Johnson? Does Google or Facebook suffice as a reputation engine? No. And are you willing to pay more to show up more prominently. There is a business in this, I swear,
“Today, for the first time, you can get background information on almost any prospective counterparty by searching Google, Facebook etc. Or put more simply: we finally have an internet of people.”
So sure Dixon, who is usually on point, conflates the fact that the Internet is now in everyone’s pocket with the fact that all-recognizable online identity now assumes that everything is available.
Says our resident digital anthropologist Josh Constine, “I think anyone who’s buying or selling something online is reasonably likely to be publicly searchable. Especially if they’ve done something shady. At that point, it doesn’t matter what social networks or sites they use. Someone else just has to tweet or blog their name to tie a record of their past dealings to them.”
I totally trust someone on Craigslist to rent me their apartment, but not to make out with, for example.
Succinctly, the major point still is ; The Internet has a long ways to go if it wants to rock and roll. Sure, enough said.