Wednesday, July 25, 2012

David Bollier — Why Do Some Software Commons Succeed and Others Fail?

Schweik and English conclude that FLOSS commons will be more successful when:
  • The project has a relatively clearly defined vision and a mechanism to communicate the vision early in the project’s life, before getting to the growth stage;
  • The software produced has a higher utility as perceived by the end user community; 
  • The project has one or more leaders who generate excitement and demonstrate “through doing.”
  • The project has well-articulated and clear goals established by the project leader(s).
Schweik and English found no support for the hypotheses that projects succeed because they add functionality to core FLOSS technologies; because they are components of a computer operating system or other foundational infrastructure; or because they are built on certain programming languages that are popular in developer circles.
What’s particularly impressive about Internet Success is the painstaking rigor of the data collection and its use of sophisticated statistical and social science methodologies. This book is no anecdotal, conjectural account of why and how software commons function. It bores deeply into the social phenomena of software commons by studying a large, representative sample of projects. (Full disclosure: Schweik is a friend and I provided a blurb for the book jacket.)
Read it at David Bollier's Blog
Why Do Some Software Commons Succeed and Others Fail?
by David Bollier

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