In his book Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom
, Cory Doctorow postulates a reputation economy where everyone's access to goods and services above a subsistence level is based on a qualitative score of their personal acclaim by others, named the Whuffie.
Do a good deed, write a good blog post, do your job well, and you acc**ulate Whuffie, by means of the augmented reality hook-ups in everyone's heads. Now, this implementation depends on neural computing and the eradication of death, which are out of reach of our current technology, but still, there's people working on bringing the basic concept to life:http://thewhuffiebank.org/
Honestly, I think their odds of success are long, unless they get picked up by facebook or google for reasons unknown... But at the same time, the monetizing of acclaim is already at play when bloggers use adwords (or adsense or whichever) to make advertising money from google. Write good things, get good links, rise in the google ranks, and sell space through the very same company that calculated your worth in the first place..!
Somewhere between the interminable bureaucracy of large scale socialism as we've seen it, and the utter barbarism of free markets, I hope for a stable state where we guarantee subsistence, and have a competitive but non-destructive system for rewarding merit above and beyond that level...
*Courtesy of David Mamet's Heist, delivered by Danny Devito