Chapter

Great Expectations: The Materiality of Commensurability in Social Media

Susan V. Scott and Wanda J. Orlikowski

in Materiality and Organizing

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199664054
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745423 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199664054.003.0006
Great Expectations: The Materiality of Commensurability in Social Media

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This chapter considers the question of commensuration — the process of comparison according to a common metric — and how it is accomplished on online social media websites. When commensurability is produced through the distributed reviews and ratings of thousands of user-generated postings, and transformed through filtering and weighting algorithms into ratings and rankings, it may be expected that different things will be paid attention to, connected, and compared. The chapter is interested in understanding these differences and the implications of online user-based evaluation mechanisms for how commensurability is organized and achieved.

Keywords: commensuration; materialization; ratings and rankings; social media; user-generated content

Chapter.  8736 words. 

Subjects: Organizational Theory and Behaviour

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