Management of e-Reputation in Online Work Exchanges

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Recently Dr James Stewart gave a presentation entitled From Crowd to Cloud: the shaping and management of e-reputation in online freelance and crowdsourced work exchanges to Edinburgh University’s Social Informatics Forum. His talk drew on a research project he has been involved in at the European Commission’s Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) in Seville. The video of Dr Stewart’s talk has now been put on YouTube and is embedded below.

The abstract said: “Technology fundamentally influences how and why we work, the ways we work, who works, under what conditions. The deployment of technology that affect the labour process can have fundamental impacts on the constitution of our society, economy and the polity. This presentation describes some of the findings from a study conducted at the JRC-IPTS in to the emergence of new technology-mediated mechanisms for organising and facilitating work, using online, software-based exchanges or platforms, and their implications for policy.”

This talk clearly explains the range of online work exchanges that have emerged and how they work, including a useful survey of relevant literature and concepts that can be used to analyse them.

Dr Stewart focuses on the complex institutional and technical assemblages used to measure reputation and so give purchasers of services some guide in whom to take on. The reputation algorithms need to ensure that new joiners, without a history, can get some work, but that give valuable information about established sellers of services, while being opaque and dynamic enough to prevent the sellers learning how to game the system.

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