Peer production communities survey 2011

Written by Jarkko Moilanen. Posted in Longitudinal results, Survey Result

During the past decades, hacking has mostly been associated with software development. Furthermore, most but not all hacker generations (from MIT hackers to Open source) have been introvert; participants have been hiding in cyber bush, avoiding contact with ‘great’ public, staying in virtual world. This is now changing as new walks of life are being explored with a hacker mindset, thus bringing back to memory the origin of hacking in hardware development. Hackerdom is characterised by an active approach to technology, undaunted by hierarchies and established knowledge, and a commitment to sharing information freely.

The creation of hacker/maker-spaces in many countries around the world has provided an infrastructure which might be seen as return to old skool hacking where software is not the king. This new  ’do-it-yourself’ culture has multiple forms and names: hackerspace, makerspace, fablab, 100k garage just to mention a few. You can read more about the forms from Troxler’s[1]  article. For the sake of clarity I will put all the above terms under one term: ‘Peer production’. I know it is not the best term since it emphasizes production and neglects the social aspects of hackerspaces (physical space which is center of local hacker community) . Discussion around ‘peer production’ has been active during the last years. Still, empirical information about ‘peer production’ communities has been minimal. Some scholars have done in-depth hacker interviews, but statistical data is missing.

With this survey, which has been conducted 2010 and 2011, I wish to help in filling in the gap. Intention is to do same survey every year. Results of the 2010 survey can be found from here: http://blog.ossoil.com/2010/07/19/hackerspaces-members-and-involvement-survey-study/ In this blog entry I will represent 2011 results and compare those to previous results. You can do your own analysis too! Download the results (raw) from here: http://ossoil.com/projects/surveys/peerproduction/2011/. The form used is also available in the same folder (defunct). Last year’s form and raw data are in separate folder: http://ossoil.com/projects/surveys/peerproduction/2010/

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Jarkko Moilanen

Experienced community builder in realms of hackerspaces and MeeGo networks, several successful project management positions in software development and system design. http://fi.linkedin.com/in/jarkkomoilanen

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