Research Interests

Sharing Economy Historical Sociology Science, Technology and Society Computational Social Science

Science, Technology and Society

A key aspect of online communities is their reliance on reputation systems, which accumulate information about the members of the community in the form of reviews, ratings, comments, etc. The communities and institutions in which individuals are embedded have always stored information about members' past interactions in the form of reputations and collective memories. Yet the processes by which this information was transmitted were less formalized and more contested than those made possible by current technology.

My research explores how the nature of online reputation systems impacts the strength of ties they facilitate. On the one hand, the accumulation of reputations increases the ease with which we form friendships around common cultural interests; on the other hand, the accumulation of reputations diminishes the bonding power of these experiences by reducing the serendipity of discovering something new.