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Salon: [Advogato] Even better than Slashdot?

Jul 18, 2000, 15:52 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Rachel Chalmers)

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"Advogato is the latest step forward in the evolution of online open-source community. ... Advogato was built by Raph Levien, a UC-Berkeley computer scientist, as part of his Ph.D. research into the gnarly problem of creating "webs of trust."

"Advogato is an experiment in the alternative, peer-to-peer model, heavily inspired by Phil Zimmerman's Pretty Good Privacy site. "I found that the traditional trust metric framework was pretty limited, but discovered a new technique, which I call a group trust metric," Levien explains. "Basically, you put in a bunch of certificates of the form 'I, person A, vouch for the fact that person B is a member of this group,' and the trust metric tells you who it thinks is really in the group."

"In other words, to qualify as a master on Advogato requires that the community of your peers agree that you're a hotshot. ... What's revolutionary about Advogato's model is that like the Net itself -- and unlike VeriSign's top-down bureaucracy -- it's self-organizing, self-repairing and therefore hard to corrupt or otherwise compromise."

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