Many feel that the laws of the market rule our universe. Billions of isk exchange hands every day, and certainly not all of it is seen in the empire-sanctioned marketplaces. Grey areas exist between empires, in lawless space, and increasingly in a black market that runs both on escrow bonds and in the space station hangars of pilots. In the world of isk, reputation is everything.
Unfortunately, space is so big, and the traders so many that it is neigh impossible to keep track of seedy businessmen and fair dealers. This is why many people log their personal standings, and the standings of their corporation, in the central database of the CONCORD statistics bureau. Not only are these standings used as a reminder, but also as a means of communicating with others whether or not a person or organization should be trusted.
Therefore, I was quite delighted when an anonymous benefactor decided to leak this information to the press. Certainly, this information would interest quite a few...and perhaps cause a bit of a stir. So without further ado, I give you the best of the best and the worst of the worst, in the galactic popularity contest that is the standings system.
The ten most popular corporations
Perhaps unsurprisingly, nearly all of the most popular corporations belong to one of the big alliances in lawless space. However, they seem to have mostly avoided making as harsh enemies as their peers, or they are being graded extra highly by neutral parties. Many of them are producers and manufacturers, so no doubt many of their customers must have been happy with them.
The X-Trading Company , the big manufacturing corp, are the most popular corporation by far, at least amongst those who bother to change their standings. Members of the XETIC alliance.
FinFleet are certainly known for their friendly attitudes and anti-pirate stance. They are members of the Fountain Alliance as well.
Carbide Industries are another big producing corp, formerly of the Fountain Alliance. Unaggressive and popular, they seem to have made a clean break with their former alliance.
Black Avatar is a fairly unknown corporation, meaning that despite being fourth on this list, they are not known to involve themselves in interstellar politics. Little is known about them.
RONA Corporation , the well-known industrial giant and the financial backer of RONA-KIA. They are one of the largest corporations in the Phoenix Alliance, which is based out of Venal.
Xanadu are quite possibly the most powerful of the Fountain Alliance corporations, as well as one of EVE's largest manufacturers. They have recently been making themselves felt in the high-tech industry.
X-Factor Industries are according to their own information center, a corporation focused on production and research. They also belong to the Fountain Alliance.
Free Imperial Vikings recently merged with Xanadu, bolstering the already powerful corporation. They were in Fountain as well.
BIG , runners of lotteries and offerers of battleship blueprint deals are yet another Fountain Alliance member making this list. BIG has a big public presence, but are perhaps smaller than their FA allies higher on this list. They certainly don't have the numbers of Xanadu.
Genco are the last to grace this list. I'll have to admit I don't know much about them, but their database entry declares them as members of the Empyrean Federation.
The ten least popular corporations
It doesn't take a gravimetric physicist to realise that the least popular corporations are, in all practical definitions of the word, pirates. Of course, it is debatable whether or not alliances in lawless space are any better or worse than the roaming bands of outlaws that attack miners, traders, and anyone who passes through are actually worse or more amoral, and quite frankly I wouldn't touch that issue with a superhighway. But here they are!
m0o Corp - Ah yes. The infamous m0o. Even big alliances pay attention when they move about, and they have the dubious honor of being the only pirates in recent memory that had to be dealt with by DED Special Forces. Everyone knows, and mostly doesn't like (to be caught by, perhaps?) m0o.
Space Invaders are a smaller pirate corp that made their name robbing unwary travellers. Known to be quite reasonable - if you pay their ransom. Considered pioneers in their "trade".
BioMass Cartel take the third place. The members of this pirate corporation have long since left it (even for legitimate businesses, according to rumor), but its reputation remains as the ruthless killers who camped systems like Obe.
Killer Clowns from Outer Space another small pirate corporation, who are still quite active. They seem to be hated quite vehemently despite their relatively small area of operation.
M3G4 Corp roamed the spacelanes for a time, but eventually became BioMass Cartel.
Zombie Inc. are probably most known for their involvement in the so-called "Yulai incident". A pirate corporation with contacts in CONCORD? Or just quick to exploit a weakness in the system? You decide.
Corp 1 are a seemingly growing pirate corporation, operating mostly in the Syndicate region. Their recent increase in numbers is believed to be caused by pilots migrating from other smaller corps in the area.
Sinister Corporation , m0o's old ally since the PF-346 days, are now defunct. Its members have joined other corporations since, joining other corporations, pirate or otherwise. The aptly named corporation still sends a shiver down the spines of those who used to travel through there in those days.
Jokers are a tiny but incredibly successful band of pirates. Rumored to be capable of taking on incredible odds, these outlaws certainly seem to have earned the respect of even their fiercest enemies.
Carebears On Weed , or cOw, as they are generally called, are now quite small compared to what they used to be. In the past, they have been allied with corporations such as m0o, but it is believed that there is no love lost between the two now.
And there you have it. Twenty corporations, from both sides of the popularity coin. As I sit here and read through these logs, wondering how to write an article on our galaxies most loved and hated individuals without joining the latter, I briefly wonder whether this knowledge will be of use to anyone. I guess I'll leave that for the philosophers.