I’m a recent reader of the Worldchanging.com website, but the tone of this article they’ve recently posted suggests their recent recognition of the potential in virtual worlds and their economies. Of particular interest to me however was the comment that reputation is a crucial element of these online activities; and that a positive reputation carries forward and sometimes outward into the real world. Sounds alot like some comments I read a couple years ago about Chinese business practices; how even with so few mechanisms in place (China is still communist after all) Chinese businessmen managed to do just fine using the best and oldest tools available: reputation and word-of-mouth.
I was glad to read that about “reputation” and to be reminded of that Chinese article. It’s a short read with plenty of links. Might be worth your time if you’re still new to the whole virtual thang.