In the past, we tended to accept only the information transmitted by mass media one-sidedly, but with the spread of the internet, we become able to send information to a number of unspecified people by ourselves. Because of this, now everyone in the world influences each other.
As a result, credibility of everything is visualized, and the Reputation Economy is being created where people exchange “goods”, “service” and “money”, mediated by their “reputation”.
From Monetary Economy to Reputation Economy
It is true that modern Japanese economic growth is based on the Monetary Economy, but it is also true that the Reputation Economy is expanding.
After the financial crisis precipitated by the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy in 2008, the Monetary Economy System has lost its trust and people have begun to question the “reason to work” and “meaning to work”. Because the market does not grow, people cannot become rich even though they work harder. Working hard does not satisfy people’s desires and self-respect any more.
People who have been working for their company becomes to value their own feelings such as “like” and “interesting”, and SNSs such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. become popular, in which individuals can freely express about themselves.
How much “likes” they got and how much it was shared on the SNS is a visible indicator for their esteem needs.
These services accelerate the Reputation Economy.
Credibility is Visualized and Evaluated on the Internet
The turning point of the Reputation Economy is the spread of the Internet, where credibility is visualized. The infrastructure of the Internet enables individuals to transmit information worldwide.
When you search on the Internet, you can see “Goods” and “Service” reviews written by unspecified number of people, and by looking at SNS, you can see what kind of “Person” he/she is.
For example, people called “Influencers” appeared, who are known by thousands to millions of people on the Internet. YouTubers and bloggers are the best examples.
In other words, not only companies but also individuals can earn money by visualizing credibility, receiving reputation from many people.
Moreover, various services which can visualize and evaluate reputation are being provided to encourage the trend.
For example, VALU, Timebank, FEVER, and crowd-funding are this kind of services.
Also, in the Reputation Economy, things with good ratings are used by more people, and things with bad ratings are more likely to be culled out. In other words, the risk to do a dishonest act became extremely high. Thanks to the Internet technology, good rumors and bad rumors will soon be sent to all over the world.
Amazon reviews are easy examples for this case. Many users judge whether to buy the goods or not by referring to the reviews.
Competition in the Reputation Economy Society
The competition in the Reputation Economy Society is summarized to “How famous you can be” and “How much high reputation you can collect”.
This used to be a competition between mass media only, but now everyone can join this free competition. Here I explain with an example.
e.g.) Affiliate by a blogger
A blog is a tool that enables you to have your own page on the internet and to publish your own opinions in writing about certain topics.
Briefly describing an affiliate, when a blogger introduces his/her favorite product in his/her own blog post, he/she put a link of an online shopping site which sells that product. When a viewer of the blog post who got interested in the product purchases it through the posted link, the blogger receives some reward.
In case of a blogger with huge social influence, companies may ask her/him directly to post their ads in his/her blog.
People Become More “Rich” by Reputation Economy
Things that were not evaluated in the Monetary Economy are now evaluated in the Reputation Economy, and people feel more rewarding by being recognized than just earning money.
It can be said that the Reputation Economy made people aware of the real richness.
Here I mean the richness is well balanced with wealth (money) and satisfaction (reputation).
With the spread of the Reputation Economy, things that were not evaluated in the past becomes valuable, and people will be paid what they are worth. For example, domestic labor of housewife (house husband), support work to junior staff etc. are valuable work for someone but have not being paid. More money is expected to be gathered to this kind of fields.
Also, more people can work with their favorite job in the Reputation Economy. People can share their “likes” with many people on SNSs, such as photos taken by themselves, songs composed by them, videos taken by themselves. And there is a system that they can monetize their contents. In this way, if you do what you really want, and do what you like through your life, you will be able to live a better and rich life.
It is no doubt that we will have much higher risk to commit injustice in the Reputation Economy.
It may be becoming a such world where truly worthy things are evaluated and paid properly.