The innovative network for the exchange of knowledge,
…based on existing and newly created personal contacts, thus
…the only reputation system for trustworthy consumer reviews,
…also perfectly suited as an internal knowledge database.
The use and the impact of online reputation systems have been in focus of scientific research for decades. Studies in 2001¹ and 2003² for example showed already a high susceptibility of pure-Internet retailers for online reviews and furthermore that online reputation systems are a promising alternative to branding.
Another study, carried out in 2013, found the following results: “If high-quality credibility cues are tied directly to a reviewer’s identity (…) , then characteristics of language, on their own, utterly fail.”³
Thus, the results of this study leads to the following question:
How to improve the credibility of this already established, much-used system of online review platforms by implementing “high-quality cues”, about reviewers’ identity (and – as the same time – their credibility)?
The only obvious solution to implement these “high-quality cues” in online reviewer systems is the use of real names, possibly combined with background information about the reviewer.
However, such a concept has a decisive disadvantage: It lacks the benefits of anonymous (= defined as without any information about true identity) responses. It is obvious that a question will be answered more quickly if one can answer anonymously, because a false answer can cause damage to a professional reputation, for example the professional reputation of doctors, accountants or lawyers.
So, finally there’s one question left:
How to combine anonymity and credibility?
The answer is: LimTo
LimTo users always receive reliable answers to their questions, because either they ask someone they trust because they know him personally (their personal circle of contacts) .
… they ask users whom their personal contacts know personally, which can be called ‘circle of contacts, degree 2’.
Finally users can ask questions to a circle of contacts, degree 5.
LimTo thus realizes the principle of “friend of a friend”.
1 ) Chatterjee, Patrali (2001), “Online Reviews – Do Consumers Use Them?” ACR 2001 Proceedings, eds. M. C. Gilly and J. Myers-Levy, Provo, UT: Association for Consumer Research, 129-134.
2) Dellarocas, Chrysanthos (2003): The digitization of word of mouth: Promise and challenges of online feedback mechanisms. Management Science, 49, 10, 1407–1424
3) Jensen, Matthew; Averbeck Joshua; Zhang, Zhu; Wright, Kevin (2013): Credibility of Anonymous Online Product Reviews: A Language Expectancy Perspective. Journal of Management Information Systems,293-323.