In the future, everyone will be competing in a single global popularity contest. The competition will be fierce and unforgiving. As with all competitions, there will be winners and there will be the long tail. At the bottom are the ones whose opinion do not matter, the ones whose voices are filtered in all but the smallest of opinion-ponds. At the top are the ones whose opinions sway the minds of millions – not only because they have tapped into the zeitgeist, but also because they are the ones that are seen.,
It is already happening in many forums. Every time you post, your opinion is ranked by readers. The higher a rank you accumulate, the more cred you get, the more likely your next post will be seen. It works: cowards and trolls are automatically filtered out; people with cred spend more time and effort shaping their posts in order to protect or increase it.
It will only be a matter of time before the various cred ratings are consolidated into a single profile. It will only be a matter of time before it is mandatory that you have that single profile to engage in any on-line conversation worth having. Inevitably, that profile will follow you everywhere not just in your social life but also your professional life, not just on-line but with Google Glass augmented reality technology, everywhere you physically go. Imagine walking down the street where everyone has a single number, their cred rating, flashing above their head.
On-line cred will literally become street cred.
It will not be long before government legislates to have influence over your street-cred. Caught speeding? Your street-cred will take a hit and your public record will reflect the misdemeanor. Punched out a stranger in the pub? Your street-cred rating will be supplemented with a virtual flashing red flag over your head when you walk down the street.
Maybe you might choose to go dark and not reveal your street-cred? Assuming it is even legal to do so, it sounds suspicious to me and I’ll probably create a filter to black flag all such people so I can avoid them in public or semi-private places. In fact, I may choose to avoid entire suburbs that have too many red or black flagged individuals living there.
After all, honest citizens with nothing to hide are proud of their street-cred.