Statistical Studies of Peer Production
Surveying, analyzing and documenting peer to peer practices
The domain (http://surveys.peerproduction.net) is dedicated to DIY community surveys. We provide tools for P2 communities to make surveys to gain knowledge about motivations and activities of community members.
Different aspects of this domain can be summed to include three parts
- We provide open source survey platform (limesurvey) for different P2 communities (such as hackerspace, makerspaces and diybio) to conduct surveys among members.
- Analysed results of surveys are provided under some Commons license (you choose). Most of the results are written to blogs which are linked to ‘Results’ section.
- We require that all collected data will be open sourced. That means access for all and to all data. You can donwload all survey data and do your analysis!
- We have mailing list, which is run by Freelists.org: http://www.freelists.org/list/p2p-surveys
- We have IRC channel #p2p-surveys
- We have Discussion Forums
- We have website: http://surveys.peerproduction.net
- We use LimeSurvey for surveys.
- Links to LimeSurvey documentation and how to use it for longitudinal research.
Ideas, what next?
Put here ideas about how to develop Statistical Studies of Peer Production: what to discuss? how to discuss? What's missing etc...
- idea here...
We have a few surveys in the domain. Below are the descriptions of those.
- Has been conducted: 2010,2011
Description: 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.
3D Manufacturing Community survey
- Has been conducted: 2012
Description: Research around 3D printing as an example of commons-based peer production is still minimal (Troxler’s study  touches on the issues). The approach in the current research has concentrated in defining the overall change and analysing most prominent features. Statistical studies of 3D Printing community are still missing. This research aims to take the first steps towards that direction.
This research is built on surveys. Surveys will be conducted annually, forming a longitudinal data base about 3D printing community, members of it, and features of the community. We have included both 1) people using 3D printers and people who 2) develop 3D printers and related software.
The former group refers to people who print objects with 3D printers but have no interest or skills to make any development either on software or hardware. This group contains also people who use 3D printing services like Shapeways and Ponoko. Shapeways and similar services also represent a kind of commons-based peer production since the models and ‘things’ sold in webshops are made by a large population of people who participate (at least mostly) voluntarily. They create the content. The same situation can be found in the other group too. The second group (technology developers) contains those who make contributions, software or hardware, to 3D printing communities. Of course, the above groups are only a subset of people involved in 3D printing. Somewhere in between are people who buy 3D printers, and assemble and use those mighty machines with the help of the community. They are commonly referred as 3) early adopters.