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This investment of the body is bound up Foucault, 25 emphasis added. Andrew Wernick outlines a specific example of the body forced to be economically useful and to emit signs of its own utility in his book Promotional Culture.

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Goods, services, corporations, and, most centrally, people are all implicated in a promotional culture. The self as commodity for sale on the labour market must also generate its own rhetorically persuasive packaging, its own promotional skin, within the confines of the dominant corporate imaginary. Self-branding may be considered a form of affective, immaterial labour that is purposefully undertaken by individuals in order to garner attention, reputation and potentially, profit.

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The view that self-promotion is a form of profit-producing work is now very common. Indeed, we most likely engage in a form of it ourselves as we craft our profiles on social network sites, such as Facebook, or attempt to compose compelling character messages on Twitter.

Self-branding is a function of an image economy, where attention is monetized and notoriety, or fame, is capital.

The Obama Campaign Remembers 2012 Very Differently Than Bernie Sanders

It is against this backdrop, then, that we might begin to explore the rise of the online reputation economy. Like other brands, the success of the self-brand is evidenced by reputation, which must first be measured and represented.

To better understand this process we need only look to the ways in which other branded goods and corporations are routinely subject to abstract systems of measurement through which their value is constituted. Brand equity measurement companies attempt to capture numerically, and by various tortured algorithms, the ineffable and intangible relationships and meanings humans are producing and reproducing out in the world.

Brand equity measurement systems, then, were developed in order to manage a perception problem experienced by corporations and, in this way, may be read as an early form of promotional reputation management. Of course, the process of commensuration involved in brand valuation systems, which transforms qualitative distinctions into quantitative ones, actively works to depersonalize and de-particularize the very activities being measured. Quite simply, these measurement strategies work to render liquid and generic individual meanings and sentimental investments in the brand in order to make them exchangeable on the market; these systems mark the point at which human feelings are commodified.

It is in this sense that Adam Arvidsson claims brands constitute the most general form of value under post-Fordist, informational capital Arvidsson, ; Lury and Moor, In this way, brand value measurement systems are biopolitical and disciplinary. Brand equity measurement systems have much in common with systems of reputation measurement in the digital world.

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Certainly, the most obvious precursor to the forms of reputation measurement systems arising now in the digital realm, at least in the sphere of cultural production, are best seller lists and popular music charts. Suffice it to say that, just as with the brand measurement systems, these lists serve the promotional interests of the book or music industries, work to discipline consumption, and function as forms of myth or self-fulfilling prophecy.

The best-seller lists, for example, measure only the pace or intensity of sales, rather than the cumulative rate of sales over time and, therefore end up simply reflecting books that have been heavily promoted for a short period of time by publishers Miller, The lists also have few, if any, protections from those business interests who would game the system by buying thousands of copies of books or albums, or, where rules tied to a professional association do exist, they are sufficiently opaque as to be easily thwarted.

The idiom of the list, Ernest Hakanen argues, allows us to locate ourselves within the social field.

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Their numeric shorthand not only helps us sort through the overwhelming world of commodities and services, speaking reassuringly in the language of science and statistics, but also helps us to position our tastes, beliefs, and level of success relative to other consumers; following Bourdieu, we could claim they work to generate cultural capital and new taste formations.

But surely there is a meaningful difference between these industry-generated lists and the kinds of real-time interactive feedback mechanisms available to everyone online? Does the constitution of reputation change when mediated by digital technologies and social networks? Many who celebrate the rise of social media see it as facilitating a wholesale change in social relations, and, indeed, in the nature of capitalism for example Benkler, and Bauwens, , confirming the centrality of socialized production, social capital, and immaterial labour.

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Doctorow imagines a post-capitalist world of abundance, where individuals collect Whuffie by making positive affective investments in their communities. In this age of reputational transparency, companies must expand their social networks and cultivate meaningful quality relationships with the people in those networks.

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Of course, corporate social responsibility offices around the globe have long recognized the value of making calculated investments of public affect in social causes and the link between these investments and concrete financial returns. The perpetual interactivity and transparency of social network sites seem to raise the stakes in these ventures however because, through them, interested parties can easily police corporate commitments.

Does individual participation in online rankings and feedback systems simply reflect public sentiment, which can then collectively press toward generating ethical and socially responsible behaviour on the part of corporations and businesses? Is the dream of a true transparency between personal or corporate internal motivation and public self-presentation, named by Braudy, finally becoming possible?

In order to begin to answer these questions, we must first examine who directs the flows of affective investment into concrete forms of social capital, or digital reputation, and what mechanisms are being deployed to solicit, aggregate, and represent these investments. This speech does not remain personally expressive for long, however; it only becomes valuable once it has been aggregated, represented and put to work. A plethora of different sites and services exist to fulfill these tasks.

The assumed transparency enabled by these systems, Dellacrocas argues, creates incentive for good behaviour on the part of businesses and a modicum of stability in what would otherwise by a very risky trading environment. Automated feedback mediators delimit who can participate, what kinds of information they can contribute, and in what format it is represented to others.

They can also control for a number of feedback parameters that would be impossible to control in real world settings. Once these feedback and ratings mechanisms are in place, sites such as ivillage, Buzzillions, Tripadvisor, or Urbanspoon deploy them to solicit consumer feedback for products and services. Generic consumer sites like epinion.

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According to Scott Armstrong of the marketing firm BrainRider, this practice is a part of the increasingly sophisticated world of business marketing online, one that sees social networking as a tactic to attract consumers and consumer feedback as an easy route to free knowledge resources. Other online services that actively track, broker, aggregate consumer feedback and transform this feedback into value for corporate clients have also emerged in recent years. It then subjects the mentions to several other filters, such as the degree of emotional intensity indicated by the use of adjectives and lexical cohesion, and subjectivity, which measures the partiality or impartiality of the source of the utterance by examining the semantic construction of the mention, other topics raised in it, and the extremity of the position expressed in relation to other mentions Pang and Lee, Sentiment analysis is just one mode of analysis offered by companies like Radian6, however.

The deteriorating economic situation has led to price hikes, which could affect the cash-based programmes. The resupply of food stocks is a concern due to the remoteness of Mingkaman and the unreliable electricity needed to power the machines. To mitigate these challenges, WFP has provided solar panels to the traders to ensure continued power supply. It bases its transfers on thorough market price assessments and the traders who were selected have a track record of keeping a consistent stock of supplies. Stories Story. Offering more choice and diversity In April, WFP introduced paper vouchers, which people could use to buy food from selected shops.

Stimulating entrepreneurs and the local economy Before the conflict, Mingkaman was a small village of a few thousand inhabitants. That poem is no longer mine, it has become theirs. I just went back quietly to my seat. And this theme runs across poems, most of which directly addresses Gauri as though she is a friend known to all of them.

I felt as though a powerful voice against atrocities was snatched away from us. To me, as a poet, that was both a warning and an invitation. Many poets made the point that a defenceless woman was killed without her being given a chance to say anything at all. Read more on Gauri Lankesh. Abul Kalam Azad. Chand Pasha. Poile Sengupta. Sunday ET. Follow us on.

Download et app. Become a member. Poetry flowed like blood and tears at a rally in Bengaluru this week to protest the murder of Gauri Lankesh. Mail This Article. My Saved Articles Sign in Sign up. Find this comment offensive? This will alert our moderators to take action Name Reason for reporting: Foul language Slanderous Inciting hatred against a certain community Others.