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Exploring the science and magic of Identity and Access Management
Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Identity Map – Reputation

Author: Mark Dixon
Thursday, December 8, 2005
6:20 am

"recognition by other people of some characteristic or ability"

A long time ago, I heard a wise man say, "Reputation is what men carve
on your tombstone; character is what angels declare before God."

This little article is only about reputation – what others may figuratively
carve on your tombstone. You may wish to review my recent blog entry where I
shared some of my thoughts about integrity,
an essential component of character.

Reputation is not what one claims about himself; it is what other people say.
Reputation may be informal (Jack is an honest man or a horse thief) or formal
(Jack is a registered CPA or a licensed barber). Reputation may be based on
truth (valid college degree) or fraud (forged passport). Identity theft may
be seen as one person’s attempt to establish a ficticious reputation, while
often destroying the reputation of another.

We commonly attempt to quantify reputation:

  • School grades
  • SAT test scores
  • Credit ratings
  • DMV points
  • Quarterback efficiency ratings

Other reputation characteristics are more qualitative:

  • Reliability
  • Honesty
  • Effectiveness
  • Cowardice

Our society loves to recogize reputation by granting special awards:

  • Nobel prize
  • Academy award
  • Honorary Doctorate
  • Honor student
  • Worst dresser

Credentials are formal evidence of reputation – not reputation itself, but
a means of claiming reputation for ones self:

  • Professional credentials, institutionalized recognition of reputation:
    • CPA
    • Licensed barber
  • Academic achievement credentials:
    • High school diploma
    • BSEE
  • Information access credentials:
    • UserID, Password
  • Physical Access credentials
    • Employee badge
    • PIN

In the digital realm reputation is often established through trusted
third parties
(e.g. government institutions, Sxip
home site
). An individual may make a claim or assertion; that claim may
need to be validated by another person or institution.

In closing, may I recommend an interesting little article
that speaks of a "trusted personal brand, or reputation." The author
recommends that we consciously seek to enhance our personal reputations: "If
there’s a gap between where you are and where you’d like to be with
your brand image, you can close the gap."

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