Waltham (MA) – Should a good eBay reputation follow you into Amazon.com or even MySpace? Trustplus, a startup based in Waltham Massachusetts, seems to think so and is developing a persistent online reputation score that functions much like the dreaded FICO credit score. The company collates reputation scores from various social networking, dating and ecommerce websites to make a composite “trust score”.
The score can be easily view with a free browser plugin that is available for either Firefox or Internet Explorer. If a person has a Trustplus score, then a colored plus sign will appear next to their name. Trustplus says there are six levels of trust from “Do Not Trust” to “Most Trustworthy” and that composite scores are done on a Bell Curve. This supposedly eliminates the problem of skewed ratings often seen on eBay where sellers and buyers are often scored “AAAA+++ Pleasure to Deal With. Would buy from again”.
Trustplus believes a composite score can more accurately determine a person’s trustworthiness because good or bad deeds on one website will carry over into other sites. The company uses some pretty heavy handed marketing to beat home the point by pointing out instances of horrible dates gone wrong and a Craigslist buyers being robbed and pepper sprayed.
One interesting and potentially scary feature is the ability to anonymously rate other people through Trustplus’ website . You can view the link here. All you need is another person’s email address and there doesn’t appear any verification on whether or not you had any dealings with the person you are rating.
In addition to working with MySpace and Facebook, there is another social networking aspect to Trustplus and that is setting up a Trust Circle. I suppose they could have called it a Circle of Trust, but the “Meet the Parents” movie probably has a patent on it. With a Trust Circle, you can place people in a varying levels of trust from the Inner Circle where the most trusted people go, to Friends, Family & Colleagues and Acquaintances.
The Trustplus rating system is currently free to use, but the company is planning on commercial partnerships with major ecommerce and credit card vendors.