WOT The Heck Is Going On Here!by Don Dousharm Entrepreneur, Publisher
WOT, Web of Trust is a website rating system that is now using the power of 500 million plus Facebook users and you have no choice but to use them unless you leave Facebook.
The reason I am writing this is the fact that good sites get bad reputations through these types of rating systems. WOT has now partnered with Facebook and with over 500 million users this is a very powerful system and could be potentially deadly for the reputation of many trusted sites.
Once Facebook partnered with WOT I started getting warning signs from off site links on sites I have been visiting for years and realized that this is not a truth. One of the sites I am speaking of is APSense. APsense is a business social network that I am a member of but low and behold it has a very bad reputation with WOT and now with Facebook.
I decided to explore this further and joined WOT and started reading member comments. What I found was very negative comments.
Here are some examples;
“Identity theft and phishing”
“Spam, Scam, Ponzi, beware about data collecting, data/identity theft”
“Spamvertised - Registered at GO DADDY SOFTWARE, INC”
“is spaming master. So many spam in one day.”
Mind you I have found a number of positive comments but with many thumbs down. This is something I find very discerning as I see a pattern develop. I am as I said a member of WOT now and trying to do my part in helping the reputation of websites that I have come to know and trust.
Here are quotes taken from the FAQ at the WOT website. I think this will give you a better idea of how a web rating system works
“WOT, Web of Trust"
"Web of Trust is a Finnish company founded in 2006. Our family of products makes use of data about websites gathered from millions of users to guard individuals and enterprise from untrustworthy links that lead to trouble, without restricting access to the web. At the core of our products is WOT, our free browser add-on for rating websites. WOT Reputation Data is available to companies seeking to enhance and improve their products as well as protect their users’ experience. WOT Trust Seals help website owners display their excellent reputation to visitors.”
“WOT's unique tools are powered by our global community of millions of users who have rated millions of websites based on their experiences. All websites' reputation ratings in WOT are based on ratings from our users. WOT also uses information from numerous trusted sources, such as phishing and malware blacklists, to provide the WOT community with real time information.”
“WOT uses color-coded symbols to show the reputation of a site: Green indicates that the site is trusted by the community, yellow warns you to be cautious and red indicates potential danger. A gray symbol with a question mark means that there are not enough ratings to calculate.”
“Usually in reputation systems each rating is weighted equally and reputations are computed as the average of all ratings, which makes them extremely vulnerable to automated attacks. Therefore, we decided early on to value ratings by their merit and use some of the principles of Bayesian inference for combining the ratings into reputations. The short version is that the system analyzes each user's rating behavior from several aspects in order to determine their reliability. When you start using WOT, your ratings have little weight, but if you keep rating sites consistently, your ratings will be considered more reliable over time. The meritocratic nature of the system makes it far more difficult for spammers to abuse, because bots will have a hard time simulating human behavior over a long period of time.”
What concerns me is the fact that WAT hosts millions of users and will most likely grow into something bigger than any other website rating system on the net and if they do sites that have been reputable to those who truly know and use them will be turned into a discredited function by those who just skim through and develop their own impressions just from a first glance.
What needs to be done here is to get involved and rate those websites with an intelligent endorsement and reverse this insane pattern that is quickly developing here. We log incredible amounts of time build our reputations and building our business. We shape and mold our names and reputations by using these sites that are being systematically destroyed. I believe that we need to take a serious look at sites like Wot and help to save our business partners.
What Are Your Thoughts?
Created on Feb 20th 2012 11:06. Viewed 511 times.