Registration is now open for How’s My Feedback? – The Technology and Politics of Evaluation, a one-day international conference at the Institute for Science, Innovation and Society, Oxford University.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011
9.00 – 17.30
Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

About the conference:

There is hardly anything these days that is not being evaluated on the web. Books, dishwashers, lawyers, teachers, health services, ex-boyfriends, haircuts, prostitutes and websites are just some examples targeted by novel review, rating and ranking schemes. Used in an increasing number of areas, these schemes facilitate public assessment by soliciting and aggregating feedback and distributing it as comments, ranks, scales and stories. While some have greeted this development as an innovative way of fostering transparency, accountability and public engagement, others have criticized the forced exposure and alleged lack of accuracy and legitimacy, pointing to the potentially devastating consequences of negative evaluations.

Now research is under way to tackle these issues head-on and evaluate the various types of review, rating and ranking schemes in a collaborative design experiment. Under the title ‘How’s my feedback?’, a group of experts, including designers, managers, reviewers, policy-makers, consumer spokespeople, academics and users are currently exploring the idea of a website that allows users to publicly assess their experience with review and rating schemes – a feedback website for feedback websites.

The goal of the conference is to reflect on this process and the emerging prototype. How are we to judge the effectiveness of these schemes? What modes of governance are implicated in their operation? What strategies and methodologies are employed in their development, maintenance and use? How successful is this project as a design intervention? What is it to evaluate the evaluators – and will this business ever end?

Speakers include:


Malte Ziewitz and Steve Woolgar, University of Oxford, in cooperation with James Munro, Patient Opinion


The event is free of charge, but registration is required: REGISTER HERE

Project website: https://www.howsmyfeedback.org/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/howsmyfeedback/
Download poster: https://www.howsmyfeedback.org/poster.pdf
How to find us: http://goo.gl/maps/hLW8

For more information, contact insisevents@sbs.ox.ac.uk.

The conference is generously supported by an ESRC Knowledge Exchange Small Grant and the Institute for Science, Innovation and Society.

UPDATE 27/5/2011: We just moved registration to a new site. If you already registered, no worries. You are still signed up.


Sneak preview of the first Expert Workshop

by admin on March 28, 2011

Time has flown by since the project started last fall, and the first expert workshop is only two days away. Everyone who has ever organised such an event (or, in fact, any event) knows the strange tension between happy anticipation and panic attacks caused by unwell speakers or the discovery of an overlooked e-mail at the bottom of the inbox.

Which? Head Office, London

This time, however, there is not much to complain about. First of all, the line-up for Thursday looks terrific. The expert group is now about 20 members strong, covering a broad range of backgrounds and experiences from all shades of business, government and civil society. Social commerce managers, government innovators, academics, reputation consultants, web developers, social media geeks, consumer spokespeople, top-rated reviewers and the targets of reviews — this promises to be an engaging discussion. Furthermore, we are very grateful for the opportunity to meet in a wonderful venue in the heart of London, thanks to the generous support of Which?, the consumers’ association.

Finally, four members of the expert group volunteered to kick us off with short presentations, highlighting different perspectives on online reviews and ratings:

  • Jason Smith, Client Partner at Bazaarvoice, is a long-time expert on consumer feedback in social commerce: “Reviews and Social Commerce: Learnings from 1000 Brands”.
  • Peter Durward Harris is a Top-10 Amazon Reviewer and will share some of his stories: “My experience as a Top 10 Amazon Reviewer”.
  • Chris Emmins, Co-founder of Kwikchex, will highlight the consequences of public evaluations for individuals and businesses: “Online Reviews – The Good, the Bad and the Downright Ugly”.
  • John Robinson, User-generated Content Lead at NHS Choices, will share his experience with user reviews in the public sector: “Introducing patient feedback on NHS Choices: the challenges and what we’ve learned”.

Feel free to have a look at the preliminary workshop programme. We will make sure to take a lot of notes and post a summary soon after the event.