Informal reputation systems

Sites like Stackoverflow have formal reputation systems, where every user gets assigned public visible points that increase for actions deemed good, and decrease and some cases considered bad. A score of 10 indicates someone new to the platform, a score of 10.000 someone who’s been around for a long time. Someone new to the platform has an easy time figuring out who’s oldschool and who the other newbies are.

But then there’s endless platforms with informal reputation systems, where there is no explicit number or even rules to increase or decrease your reputation. Yet reputation has a lot of influence on those other platforms as well. Consider web standard processes. If you know anything about them, you’ll recognize the name Hixie. But if you’re new, Hixie is just another name. When you’re new and post to a standards mailing list the first time and no one recognizes your name, you’re much more likely to get ignored.

I wonder if there’s any platform that’s used daily that doesn’t have some form of reputation system. Is there any where reputation really doesn’t matter?

Also, is there a way to convert informal reputation systems like those around web standards into formal ones? Could we build a service that lists people involved in web standards and gives them points for good deeds?