Epinions surpasses Amazon in building a reputation economy for consumers. It takes the "I like this reviewer" scheme deeper by spreading your preferences to those who prefer you.
If you consistently appreciate one reviewer's advice, you can "trust" them, bringing their reviews to the tops of pages. As Epinions explains, when you trust reviewers, their reviews rise for those who trust you. Epinions calls this a "web of trust." When paired with the usual case-by-case ratings of reviews, the web of trust pulls forward excellent reviews.
You can examine my web of trust. Epinions also provides a block list visible only to the user. Viewing the web of trust, though, leads you down a trail to killer reviewers, folks who post thorough analyses.
The reputation economy translates into dollars and cents through Epinion's Eroyalties program. Eroyalties are based on other members' ratings, not on purchases based on ratings, so reviewers' goals are detail, fairness, and relevance. No one gets buttered up.
Read more on Epinions tomorrow evening. Meanwhile, visit my blog Broken Hammock.