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[OSS2012] Emerging hackerspaces – Peer-production generation

[OSS2012] Emerging hackerspaces – Peer-production generation

This paper describes a peer-production movement, the hackerspace movement, its members and values. The emergence of hackerspaces, fablabs and makerspaces is changing how hacker communities and other like-minded communities function. Thus, an understanding of the nature of hackerspaces helps in detailing the features of contemporary peer-production. Building on previous work on 'fabbing', two different sets of results are presented: (1) empirical observations from a longitudinal study of hackerspace participants; and (2) a theoretical description of hacker generations as a larger context in which peer-production can be located. With regard to (1), research data has been collected through prolonged observation of hackerspace communities and two surveys.

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Jarkko Moilanen, PhD

September 10, 2012
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  1. Emerging hackerspaces – Peer-production generation Jarkko Moilanen 1/18 04/09/2012 OSS

    2012 The Eighth International Conference on Open Source Systems Emerging hackerspaces – Peer-production generation Jarkko Moilanen jarkko.moilanen@uta.fi University of Tampere School of Information Sciences
  2. Emerging hackerspaces – Peer-production generation Jarkko Moilanen 2/18 04/09/2012 Research

    motivation • Personal history in hackerspaces and in hacker culture • Started as pure 'hackerspaces' study, expanded to cover other forms as well. • To provide missing accurate longitudinal statistical research data and results about commons-based peer production community such as: • Common characteristics of the community • Member motivation and • Community values • To put DIY communities on the larger context of hacker generations as 'Peer-production' generation
  3. Emerging hackerspaces – Peer-production generation Jarkko Moilanen 3/18 04/09/2012 Observation

    and surveys • Methods used • Empirical observation (helped in defining survey questions) • Annual surveys (main data collection method) • Surveys are part of P2P Foundation supported Statistical Studies of Peer Production studies established by author.
  4. Emerging hackerspaces – Peer-production generation Jarkko Moilanen 4/18 04/09/2012 Peer-production

    surveys • Conducted 2010 and 2011 (also 2012) • Conducted among DIY communities such as • Hackerspaces • Makerspaces • DIYbio • Fablabs
  5. Emerging hackerspaces – Peer-production generation Jarkko Moilanen 5/18 04/09/2012 Results

  6. Emerging hackerspaces – Peer-production generation Jarkko Moilanen 6/18 04/09/2012 Middle-aged

    western men • 'Average' member of DIY community is a highly educated 26 - 31 years old male from Europe (2011: 39%) or North America (2011:48%)
  7. Emerging hackerspaces – Peer-production generation Jarkko Moilanen 7/18 04/09/2012 Bachelors

    and Masters of 'hacking' • 2011: 56% at least Bachelor Degree (2010: 49%)
  8. Emerging hackerspaces – Peer-production generation Jarkko Moilanen 8/18 04/09/2012 Committed

    to one local community • Nearly 91% are members of just one community
  9. Emerging hackerspaces – Peer-production generation Jarkko Moilanen 9/18 04/09/2012 Building

    objects in crowd • Top 3 interests:building objects (82%), social aspects (67%) and software hacking (65%)
  10. Emerging hackerspaces – Peer-production generation Jarkko Moilanen 10/18 04/09/2012 Fun

    loving altruistic community • Altruism, community commitment, meeting other hackers in real world and having fun • having fun (98%) • meeting other hackers and hacker-minded people (95%) • contributing to community without expecting something in return (80%) • commitment to community (75%)
  11. Emerging hackerspaces – Peer-production generation Jarkko Moilanen 11/18 04/09/2012 SW

    and HW Projects • Software related: > 55%, Hardware related: > 65%
  12. Emerging hackerspaces – Peer-production generation Jarkko Moilanen 12/18 04/09/2012 Small-ish

    local communities • Over 40% of spaces have 20-50 members
  13. Emerging hackerspaces – Peer-production generation Jarkko Moilanen 13/18 04/09/2012 Peer

    funded • Question 'From which sources funding and resources can/should be obtained?' was added to 2011 survey. • Membership fees: over 92% • Donations from individuals: 88% • Governmental sources: 60% • Company donations: around 57%
  14. Emerging hackerspaces – Peer-production generation Jarkko Moilanen 14/18 04/09/2012 Peer-production

    generation Suggested view to Hacker generations. Source: Modified from Taylor (2005). Peer- production added by the author. Beginning of peer-production generation is debatable. Hackerspaces emerged in small scale around 1995, but breakthrough happened around 2001-2002 and after that other forms of peer-production emerged.
  15. Emerging hackerspaces – Peer-production generation Jarkko Moilanen 15/18 04/09/2012 Peer-production

    generation • Motivation: altruism, community commitment, meeting other hackers in real world and having fun • Small-ish local communities (with own space) • While members value social events, they value doing/'making' more • Peer funding (over company or goverment) • Hackerspaces resemble 'third places' defined by Oldenburg
  16. Emerging hackerspaces – Peer-production generation Jarkko Moilanen 16/18 04/09/2012 Motivation

    model • hackerspace communities have a strong ‘social motivation factor’. Not found significant in other research on open source development Modified from Martine Aalbers, 2004. “Motivation for participation in an open source software community,” at http://download.blender.org/documentation/bc2004/Martine_Aalbers/results-summary.pdf
  17. Emerging hackerspaces – Peer-production generation Jarkko Moilanen 17/18 04/09/2012 Future

    research • Continue annual surveys • Future (separate) surveys will focus on three communities to enable more profound results: • General DIY community (general features of Peer- production generation) • DIYbio community ('revolutionary activity') • 3D Manufacturing community ('revolutionary activity') • Compare the general Peer production generation to the two 'revolutionary' communities.
  18. Emerging hackerspaces – Peer-production generation Jarkko Moilanen 18/18 04/09/2012 Questions?

    • For more information, read http://surveys.peerproduction.net/ • Email: jarkko.moilanen@uta.fi