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Living in a Material WorldEconomic Sociology Meets Science and Technology Studies$
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Trevor Pinch and Richard Swedberg

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262162524

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262162524.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 18 June 2021

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

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

Chapter:
(p.341) 11 Six Degrees of Reputation: The Use and Abuse of Online Review and Recommendation Systems
Source:
Living in a Material World
Author(s):

Shay David

Trevor Pinch

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262162524.003.0012

This chapter describes the online book reviewing and recommendation system, and analyzes the system of Amazon.com that features six discrete levels of reputation management, known as “six degrees of reputation.” At the first level, authors’ reputations and credentials accrue to their benefit, and at the next, paid editors write reviews and try to influence buyers to buy a specific book. Expert users (reviewers) write free-form reviews and compile best-of lists that are non-commercial and unbiased, and lay users (readers) rate expert user reviews on a binary usefulness scale. However, at the fifth level some reviews are highlighted and given more visibility based on the usefulness scale; at the sixth level, the expert users are credentialed on the basis of the number of reviews they post and the usefulness of their reviews. The authors also present strategies and practices of reputation management, users as active agents, and cross-influences.

Keywords:   online review, reputation, book, authors, readers

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