Cardit.com announced today the launch of a service which enables consumers to use a web interface to pay their mortgage with their credit cards. This concept itself is worthy of a discussion about the utilization of revolving debt as method of last resort prior to missing mortgage payments.
The site does not specify what the cost of the service is, but today's discussion on Fatwallet.com is worthy of a look.
Evidently a new forum member named "Notanormalagent" opened the thread raving about the service as a consumer. He confirmed that the service cost $20 + 2.49% of the payment. As the discussion develops, he tips his hand too much and the other forum members flag him as inauthentic.
It is a great example of online identity used as promotional shill, and the community methods used to police and root out this behavior. Notanormalagent did not do a good job of acting like a real consumer, and it became apparent to the others.
Unfortunately, I believe more often than not online identities are successfully used to promote a product without full disclosure and transparency or, as in this case, with outright deception. It emphasizes the need for a portable method for assigning trust and reputation to an online identity.