In the latest issue of IFIP Working Group 9.5’s blog, Christos Begkos and Katerina Antonopoulou discuss: “Evaluative Practices and Performance Indicators for Digital Platforms”.

Rankings, ratings and reviews permeate digital platforms. They frame what we buy, where we eat, how we travel, how we consume. Their function is simple yet powerful. They streamline complex structures, quantify qualitative traits, place things in hierarchical orders and popularise their subject matter. Digital platforms offer evaluative infrastructures that ‘consist of an ecology of accounting devices in the form of rankings, lists, classifications, stars and other symbols (‘likes, ‘links’, tags, and other traces left through clicks) which relate buyers, sellers, and objects’ (Kornberger et al., 2017, p. 81; Constantinides et al., 2018). Yet, in a digital setting without rankings, lists and other classifying devices, what constitutes ‘good’, ‘successful’ or ‘popular’ and how do people perceive such abstract notions?

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