Sharing, coordination, calculation: the impact of digital technologies on human collaboration
October 2013- Present
- How do digital media infrastructures – social networks, online platforms, apps, transport logistic systems, impact the way in which we collaborate with others? How do short-term rental websites like Airbnb.com
match people who want to ‘share’ space in their empty homes with people looking for a bed to sleep in?
How can ticket-sharing websites help us sell a place on one’s group ticket? How do these services help
decide whom we share with and influence our process of collaboration? While technologies enable us to
share, coordinate, and calculate goods and practices, they often promise more opportunities for
collaboration, more trust between users, all done faster and more efficiently. Yet what exactly is happening
to processes of coordination, calculation and sharing when digital determinants mediate these processes?
Processes such as coordinating or trusting others which were, in sociology, considered as sociopsychologically
structured decisions, are now being outsourced to digital algorhytms and software. The
growing number of people using such technologies developed their own processes of “calqulating,”
meaning “anticipating, measuring, testing, influencing and correcting the discrepancies between their own
position’ (Cochoy 2008). But how do digital media technologies augment this process of ‘calqulating’?