This post explores the differences between the WoT and Linked in.
My initial thought was that the weighted rating in the WoT was similar to the ‘1st / 2nd / 3rd degree’ connections terminology on Linked in. This turned out to be somewhat correct, but also an incomplete assesssment.
the WoT : Web of Trust.
diana_coman: … the WoT is simply the (necessarily incomplete) representation of relationships.
In theory, this consists of every person you ever know (and interact with). Your connection to this person is weighted by a rating provided by you. And it is a two-way connection wherein the other person can also rate you. This rating is done by providing necessary details to to deedbot via IRC.
Deedbot is a ‘bot’, that manages nickname registration, provides encrypted OTP’s to validate commands, enables bitcoin transactions, and can even track RSS feeds. Noting the different comands on the help page will provide the complete picture of the possibilities.
[ ]I think I would be keen on working on improving deedbot or designing a bot for #ossasepia. This would also tie in with my efforts to improve my skills in data science.
diana_coman‘s explanation to me, the WoT presents a graph of how well you know people in your network based on the said rating. The rating could be negative. Deedbot’s own graph can be visualised at http://wot.deedbot.org/29F5BC967632415AB9836DB63E452A7A2A00DEC1.html. Notice that the arrow marks go both ways with the line intensity varying by the rating value.
The rating is from -10 to 10. I tried giving deedbot a rating of 20 and -20, and received an error.
Through deedbot, I can give a person a rating using their registered nick with deedbot. For example: I just gave
diana_coman a rating of 10, and deedbot 5 (out of 10):
!!rate diana_coman 10 "She had the red pill" !!rate deedbot 5 "I know deedbot"
The note or comment at the end is optional
After this command (or any other), deedbot will provide a link to a message encrypted with your public key. This OTP has to be extracted via decrypting and shared with deedbot using
!!v otp. This enables the previous command to be executed.
So, how frequently can the rating be given and changed? Apparently, as frequently as you desire, since I just changed deedbot’s ratings repeatedly. I would presume a frequent change in rating probably reflects on an unstable nature in me as well.
How can I enter somebody’s WoT? By rating them (using their nick). In turn, they can rate you (when/if they want to).
Does the rating matter? No. You can rate anybody, and the ratings represent your ‘social graph’. Somebody with poor ratings from many different people should probably be treated with some caution, but even so these ratings cannot be used to ‘judge’ anybody in any meaningful or profound manner. Ratings are like opinions, which can be changed on the fly. In a way, this is more consistent with the inconsistent ‘human condition’ w.r.t dealing with emotions… I could love boiled vegetables in the morning and hate them by lunch.
In essence, a GPG key pair and registering with deedbot is the starting point for getting into somebody’s WoT. Each interaction with deedbot is assured to reach only you, by virtue of encryption with your public key.
A ‘professional’ network, which is ‘easy’ to sign up with. There is no rating to be given to your connection, and there is no quantification of the strength of the connection you have with somebody.
A login id and password are the only methods of ‘identity verification’ on Linked in.
i.e If I get confused between between 2 people calling themselves Diana C and Diana Coman, I have no way of distinguishing between them, except by inspecting their profiles and making some educated guesses. With a public key based registration – I would not have this confusion.
As such, Linked in classifies connections as ‘1st / 2nd / 3rd degree’ connections, depending on whether you are connected to that person directly or indirectly. Depending on the degree of the connection, you can extend an invitation to connect with that person (or not).
This is only somewhat parallel to the weighted graph concept of WoT. However, in WoT – you can rate anybody, whether you actually know them or not. i.e there is no need to be ‘connected’ as in Linked in.
In a way – WoT can be thought of like the ‘follow’ option in Linked in, but with the possibility of ‘rating’ the strength of your ‘connection’. The rating is a number based on subjective assessments and emotions.
It is worth noting that on Linked in – connections can endorse the ‘skills’ you post on your profile, and can also provide recommendations based on your past work / interactions.
From my experience, the skill endorsement is an eyewash, and means nothing. I’ve been ‘endorsed’ for computational fluid dynamics by Architects (not even engineers for crying out loud), and it only involves clicking a ‘plus’ sign on a skill. However, IMHO: the /recommendations are quite valuable, as they are personally penned.
- Linked in uses a simplified and ‘fixed’ form of classifying connections as 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree connections. The basis is outside your control. the WoT makes no such distinctions and allows a broader rating between 1-10. This ‘broader rating’ system does not make it more accurate in anyway and only reflects your subjective opinion, which can be changed at anytime, on a basis that You decide.
- The strength of your connection on Linked in can be expressed via endorsements and recommendations, but these constitute a ‘rigid’, binary approach. Even a personal endorsement cannot be quantified anyway.
- On Linked in, one has to be connected with the other via a connection request and etc, and only subsequently can any endorsement take place. With WoT – I am free to rate anybody. The user is in control with the WoT.
- Anything done on Linked in – is owned by Linked in or Microsoft, as a company offering a platform, with a lot of components. With the WoT – all you offer is a public key to secure your communication, and then establish trust and connections via interactions on say IRC channels, project contributions and so on. Any information can be easily shared in a public manner, through a website or a blog, with ceding ownership and dependence.