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What's in a word? Platforms Supporting the Platform Economy

: Bødker, S.; Lewkowicz, M.; Boden, A.


Lamas, D. ; Association for Computing Machinery -ACM-:
NordiCHI '20: Proceedings of the 11th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction : Shaping Experiences, Shaping Society. Tallinn,Estonia, October 25 - 29, 2020
New York: ACM, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-4503-7579-5
Art. 87, 10 S.
Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (NordiCHI) <11, 2020, Online>
Fraunhofer FIT ()

This paper aspires to develop a deeper understanding of the sharing/collaborative/platform economy, and in particular of the technical mechanisms upon which the digital platforms supporting it are built. In surveying the research literature, the paper identifies a gap between studies from economical, social or socio-technical angles, and presentations of detailed technical solutions. Most cases study larger, 'monotechnological' platforms, rather than local platforms that lend components from several technologies. Almost no literature takes a design perspective. Rooted in Sharing and Caring, an EU COST Action (network), the paper presents work to systematically map out functionalities across domains of the sharing economy. The 145 technical mechanisms we collected illustrate how most platforms are depending on a limited number of functionalities that lack in terms of holding communities together. The paper points to the necessity of a better terminology and concludes by discussing challenges and opportunities for the design of future and more inclusive platforms.