Social Web Apps Design
Online Community Development

Humanizing Online Reputation: Connect.Me

by Saul Fleischman on November 23, 2011

After learning from Drummond Reed, Chairman and a co-founder of Connect.Me that the trust and reputation-building network his team is creating (currently in private beta) is just about to rein in the mass-messaging that got my goat, I further was treated to a one-on-one tour of where he and his colleagues are on issues of trust and online reputation scoring. If he achieved nothing else, Drummond certainly made a fan of me. I immediately regretted Scooping… with…

135 views so far – in just one of my ScoopIt magazines: “Blog Promotion”

The Blog Promotion Scoopit

Frankly, I initially took exception to the flurry of messages, in LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter that I received recently. My reaction, shared on my blog in “ Cons Me was woefully misguided. (I suggest a look at the comments on that article.) In fact, co-founders of Connect.Me addressed trust issues that I had with their network.

Connect.Me Partners’ Reactions

Saul, you are right about several areas where we need to improve. We have added more controls and limits on vouch notifications — in fact you can turn notifications off on your Settings page. We are also adding more information about how to use Connect.Me — this will get easier as we add more features for using your reputation card. And your last point – about how to make it easier and faster to vouch for specific skills across a group of contacts – is one we are especially focused on.

- Drummond Reed

“Our goal is to build a p2p reputation system that users can trust and keeps them in complete control. We have been doing a lot of work behind the scenes in the identity and privacy circles to get this done with a high degree of credibility…”

- Marc Coluccio

I was soon speaking with Drummond, and what I learned, I took to Quora and ensured that my Quora Post would be seen, by adding it to one of my ScoopIt magazines. Below, I show how it is just as easy to recommend one’s segment (my Quora post, in this case) to be syndicated by a friend’s ScoopIt, when you use the ScoopIt bookmarklet:

Recommending my ScoopIt segment on Connect.Me

I wanted to be sure to get featured in “Beta News,” and so I submitted my Quora post:

Recommend a ScoopIt to be ReScooped

Recommending my Connect.Me Quora Post Scoop to be re-scooped in someone else’s ScoopIt

Along with being rescooped by a couple other ScoopIt Magazines, getting picked up by KT-Online was a pleasant surprise (and led me to research Anita Hamilton) …

My Quora Post on Connect.Me: Humanizing Online Reputation

My email inbox had a slew of notifications showing that a number of people I asked (and a few I didn’t) rescooped the Quora post on Connect.Me

Connect.Me VS Klout & Peer Index - Rescooped

Many must be intrigued to learn – and share – how Connect.Me stands up to Klout

I can’t say I minded my piece getting picked up by the “SOCIAL MEDIA, what we think about!” ScoopIt (2 days after the publishing of my Quora post), since with 6,100 views, Martin Gysler is putting my own Blog Promotion ScoopIt to shame! (I must learn how he gets those… MORE networking to do!)

I am thoroughly convinced that Connect.Me will obliterate Klout as well as PeerIndex and possibly Kred as well. Connect.Me aims to humanize reputation scoring. Clout from our peers, with incredible transparency. Further, how the issue of trust is regarded, as Connect.Me is still being crafted, this is what wins you over.

The vouches are only the beginning. We are going to see stats per specialty/general public and by specialty/within our connections, and we will thus know who the ‘go-to’ person is, whether we want to fish within our own pond or worldwide (as we can by using LinkedIn Skills), and we will have this from Connect.Me.

Of course, in Connect.Me, we are able to declare our own specialties, prioritize (to increase the likelihood of being vouched for on those subjects, I am thinking) and at any time, order them and also edit them. Here’s me, current to 11/16/2011:

Saul Fleischman Trust Profile in Connect.Me

The Saul Fleischman Trust Profile in Connect.Me: shows just the main six specialties I would like to be vouched for, in the order I want them: CM helps me be know for these.

Many have vouched for me on several topics were set; those you see in the image above are the ones I want to appear in my mini-profile – those I would most appreciate vouches for.

Where is Klout with self-declared topics?

Klout and PeerIndex Losing Ground to Connect.Me

Klout and PeerIndex Losing Ground to Connect.Me

As of this writing, it is a Klout ‘Perk’ to receive early access to be able to declare our own specialties/topics (termed ‘Topics’ in Klout).

In fact, as for where the Connect.Me founders are coming from in the realm of reputation and trust, a must-read is the one-page summary of the ‘Respect Trust Framework‘ published by the non-profit Open Identity Exchange:

Connect.Me publishes it’s own mini-summary at In my session with Drummond, he explained:

“The big difference here is the Respect Promise — everyone who joins the network promises to respect the right of every other member to control their identity and data. This is a revolutionary new approach to protection of personal data and relationships online, with which we worked with some of the top digital identity and trust experts worldwide — enough so that it won the Privacy Award at this year’s European Identity Conference in Munich last May.”

Drummond suggested a short PDF called Building Lasting Trust on the Connect.Me blog that explains the four trust levels members progress through as they gve and receive vouches. It also explains the special role of what are called “trust anchors” — a topic so important enough that he volunteered to do a guest blog post explaining more about it next week.

About Saul Fleischman

Founder of emerging social media tool sites. Bootstrapping innovation with lean startup development teams. I do project management, user experience, PR, marketing and community development. size it!

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  • Peggy Fitzpatrick

    I will admit, the onslaught of notifications via Twitter and Facebook overwhelmed me too. I have checked out Connect.Me but I will.

    Great info!

    • Saul Fleischman

      Well, “vouching” for you will be a breeze, Peggy. But first, be sure to set up your profile, so we know which – of the many things we credit you for – are the ones to acknowledge.

  • KrisOlin

    Great post, Saul!

    I’m going to check out that ScoopIt right away, mate!

    • Saul Fleischman

      Also, if you follow my ScoopIt, I will definately want your’s – and we can rescoop each other (when its appropriate for our magazines, only, of course). Like StumbleUopn-sharing, which you and I now do, its like another flavor of Triberr. Share onwards, “to each others’ own fishing ponds,” that’s what I try to do.

    • Janet Callaway

      Kris, scoop.its are great! Start scooping!

  • Janet Callaway

    Saul, aloha. This is quite a turn around for you. After your other post on & the LI issues, I never did anything with it despite being inundated by notifications that people vounched for me. And, in fact, I said your post to several people who vouched for me. Oh well, as we learn, we understand, things change and evolve.

    Now I will add to my “to do” list. Earlier today I told Kris I have been having computer issues so will “get with the program on WS” tomorrow.

    Thanks for the great review, Saul. Until later aloha, Janet.

    • Saul Fleischman

      A huge turn-around. Naturally, with the hand-help tour, I see where Connect.Me is the best of the reputation-scoring sites, and handles peer-peer scoring better. More – from the Chairman, Drummond – next week, in a guest post…

      Meanwhile, get in there, and be sure to move around your topics – so we can “vouch” for you where it counts. Even with the Klout “perk” that (will) allow us to choose our own categories, we have to wait to see if we’ll be able to order them. More goodies – just for bloggers – coming soon from Connect.Me, but no, no… I wont divulge them ;-)

  • Anonymous

    Saul you will not like my comment at all. I have not seen any value in at all. All what i got from it is spam messages in my Twitter DM, on FB timeline and my LI.
    As far as we all criticize Klout well is nothing better when comes to privacy! There is no option of opt-out or delete your account and profile if you wish to do so. Neither there is any verification in process of verifying and topics that we vouch for it.

    As much as i am against algorithms allowing people to add their suggestion to what to vouch for them is no way to go either. There is no bases neither credibility to it. can’t be compared to Klout, PI or Kred. For me it looks like “cheap” contact application where i can tag people with their expertise… Klout, PI, Kred and twitalyzer are offering some data and numbers that we might look into them and see impacts, response, influence, true reach, amplification and so on…I know i went hard on this one but here is my point, same as i said for Klout… Let’s define first what online influence is and then lets get and measure. Same goes to online reputation, what is valid definition for it, did define it ? No, as far as i can see.

    Last but not least i think “reputation” and “influence” tools are launching like mushrooms under the rain LOL they all try to do something new but they all missing a common element…. Let’s first get straight definition of online influence.

    • Saul Fleischman

      I like all your comments, Jure. I bitch-slapped them for the abundance of messages. They listened, we talked, and continue to. They are changing, and by letting us declare our most important topics, I see value in what they are offering. But as you say, these rep things are, indeed “mushrooming.” Next time I speak with CM partners, I will want to hear how they will (also) take on Proskore (and what ELSE they’ll give us – to keep our attention.) They do listen, that I’ll tell you.

    • Saul Fleischman

      I like all your comments, Jure. I bitch-slapped them for the abundance of messages. They listened, we talked, and continue to. They are changing, and by letting us declare our most important topics, I see value in what they are offering. But as you say, these rep things are, indeed “mushrooming.” Next time I speak with CM partners, I will want to hear how they will (also) take on Proskore (and what ELSE they’ll give us – to keep our attention.) They do listen, that I’ll tell you.

      • Jure

        Personal i don’t like PROscore another platform to run behind numbers and we know “some” enjoy doing so :) We and i mean you as well we pay out attention to real value of SM engagement. Personally i read and interview with PROScore CEO who was bashing down Klout but he forgot to admit that without Klout he would never got an idea of his platform. So they are even… What i dont like from many they dont want to admit they are all with same business model in …. generating revenue based on our work :) PROscore is not far from it… They need to show us transparency and all will be fine :) Well lets see how develop in the future and where they go… Always happy to give some suggestions :)

        • Saul Fleischman

          Playing with Proskore, it has its points, but frankly, where they let you “publish” a post – but render any and all internal links in your post “dead” (not just nofollow, but not even linked) – this is a “fail” as I see it. I’ll deal with them. When I have time.

          (I make more time for Kiki and Koko; are they still giving you a mobile “solution” – with their teeth?)

  • Anonymous

    PS i need to give you kudos for you are rocking it :)

    • Saul Fleischman

      Thanks. Kiki (or Koko?) explained that the thing to do is connect with other ScoopIts, and suggest posts for their mags. Some take, some don’t, another several thousand views within their magazines is a nice plus.

  • Andrew Grill

    Saul, @andrewgrill:disqus CEO of Kred here. We see many influence platforms launching and as you say in your post, humanizing reputation scoring is one area we are all working on.

    I would love to give you a run-through of Kred and also explain how our +Kred feature is allowing peers to humanize reputation scoring not just in influence – also in outreach (generosity) with a 2 part score.

    Also we believe we are the only platform with a real-time activity statement that shows ALL of your interactions, the raw score and who has given you Kred.

    We also publish a full set of rules at that explains clearly how we score – I think we are on our own here also.

    Why not have a closer look at and I would welcome the chance to connect via

    Andrew Grill

    • Saul Fleischman

      Great speaking with you @andrewgrill:twitter I’m sure you are moving closer to even better ease-of-use with your UX with Kred. Happy to offer suggestions and happy to go deeper on my own, go “under the bonnet” from my own account.

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