Six Degrees of Reputation: The Use and Abuse of Online Review and Recommendation Systems

34 Pages Posted: 1 Dec 2005  

Shay David

Yale University - Information Society Project; Cornell University - Science and Technology Studies

Trevor John Pinch

Cornell University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 25, 2005

Abstract

This paper reports initial findings from a study that used quantitative and qualitative research methods and custom-built software to investigate online economies of reputation and user practices in online product reviews at several leading ecommerce sites (primarily Amazon.com). We explore several cases in which book and CD reviews were copied in part or in whole from one item to another and show that hundreds of product reviews on Amazon.com might be copies of one another. We further explain the strategies involved in these suspect product reviews, and the ways in which the collapse of the barriers between authors and readers affect the ways in which these information goods are being produced, and exchanged. We report on techniques that are employed by authors, artists, editors, and readers to ensure they promote their agendas while they build their identities as experts. We suggest a framework for discussing the changes of the categories of authorship, creativity, expertise, and reputation that are being re-negotiated in this multi-tier reputation economy.

Keywords: affordances, reviews, book reviews, technological change, social construction, user practices, use and abuse, recommendation system

JEL Classification: A13, A14, O31, O33

Suggested Citation

David, Shay and Pinch, Trevor John, Six Degrees of Reputation: The Use and Abuse of Online Review and Recommendation Systems (November 25, 2005). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=857505 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.857505

Shay David (Contact Author)

Yale University - Information Society Project ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States

Cornell University - Science and Technology Studies ( email )

306 Rockeffeler Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

Trevor John Pinch

Cornell University ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

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