Yahoo’s Design Pattern Library is a pretty awesome collection of design patterns – proven solutions for common or well-known problems. The idea is to provide answers to questions people (here: developers) encounter over and over again. Why reinvent the wheel?
Now there’s a whole set of design patterns for a reputation system, as well as some solid basics on online reputation and how it works. (You can find some thoughts about online reputation browsing this blog’s Identity 2.0 category.)
(Image: Screenshot of the collection Yahoo! Reputation Solution Patterns)
Reputation systems are important for online communities of all sizes: In a really small community, reputation might be implicit, but as the community grows, reputation needs to be managed in some way or another. Says the Online Journalism Blog:
In my experience, reputation systems are pretty important in encouraging users to keep coming back to your online community – you could argue, for instance, that the number of friends in Facebook or followers in Twitter is one simple example. Plurk more explicitly uses â€˜karmaâ€™, as does (in a much better way) Slashdot
Yahoo says, this set of reputation-related design patterns is just one of “several collections of social-design related patterns that weâ€™re working on. (…) They donâ€™t tell you how to lay out a page or where to put an interactive widget. Instead, they address how to design a reputation system for your social software.”
This is excellent news: With something as tricky (and important) as your online reputation, you want some professional advice!