Socialization in Open Technical Communities

TitleSocialization in Open Technical Communities
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsReagle, J
Date PublishedDecember

While many definitions of openness focus on the character and licenses of the software products, relatively few directly address the character of the social organization that develops those products. This essay offers a definition of openness and considers how that characteristic affects the recruitment and socialization of newcomers to such organizations. The relevance of socialization is clear when one consider the growth of on-line communities, and precariousness of membership in voluntary organizations. I then suggest that "forking," a split of the communities, is integral to the definition of openness and a possible vector of communicating social norms between communities, and that a significant difference between open technical communities and some other open/voluntary communities is the internal orientation of status seeking within the community.

Full Text
HTML icon voluntary.html80.71 KB