Reputation and performance

A fourth crucial dynamic for relations online is reputation. On the Internet, large groups of people contribute to shared knowledge environments, to social networks, to Open Source software libraries and more. This dynamic is not defined by being in communion with each other to find a shared meaning, but mostly by performance to build reputation.

In, for example, the open source community, releasing software is publicized, and contributors work for an audience. Failed performance towards the deadline of a release date damages a person’s reputation and generates loss of credibility. Previous successful contributions to documentation, bug reports, patches or CBS archive, contribute to establishment of reputation. They are acts of performance within the legal framework that defines access and ownership. The hierarchy of trust and authenticity is based on current and earlier performance in the community. Emotions evolve in relation to the performance to be recognized, to fill the space etc. Benevolent dictators of the meritocracy orchestrate and mediate these performances, emotions and relations between the participants in the community (interview Abraham 2008).