As he sees it, "peer networks will confer legitimacy on people emerging from the grassroots."
Clearly there remain some issues. The system can be gamed, he notes, and reputation in one field isn't necessarily going to translate to another field. But as software emerges to cultivate more contextual recommendations and groom a network of trusted associates, Newmark believes it will take hold.
"Right now, it's like the moment before a tsunami, where the water is drawn away from the shore, when it's time to get ahead of that curve," he concludes.