Monday, March 25, 2013

lost communities

I recently came across mention of an experiment whose failure might be of interest to theorists seeking to understand distributed/community-based production: eBay Community Court, which was supposed to enable randomly selected eBay members to serve as a jury and vote on whether negative member feedback was unfair; a successful challenge would result in the removal of the feedback.  It apparently exists/existed in India but was never rolled out anywhere else, despite eBay’s promises; complaints about the Indian version are easy enough to find online.  The promises in this 2010 article by Colin Rule & Chittu Nagarajan offer an example of roads not taken.  Colin Rule still wants to resolve disputes online, but won’t explain what went wrong at eBay.  And this corporate secrecy makes many of the things we say about “the internet” and peer production difficult to prove/generalize about.

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