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 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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