How do open source communities blog?

TitleHow do open source communities blog?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsPagano, D, Maalej, W
Secondary TitleEmpirical Software Engineering
ISSN Number1573-7616
Keywordsblog, blogs

We report on an exploratory study, which aims at understanding how software communities use blogs compared to conventional development infrastructures. We analyzed the behavior of 1,100 bloggers in four large open source communities, distinguishing between committing bloggers and other community members. We observed that these communities intensively use blogs with one new entry every 8 h. A blog entry includes 14 times more words than a commit message. When analyzing the content of the blogs, we found that committers and others bloggers write about similar topics. Most popular topics in committers’ blogs represent high-level concepts such as features and domain concepts, while source code related topics are discussed in 15% of their posts. Other community members frequently write about community events and conferences as well as configuration and deployment topics. We found that the blogging peak period is usually after the software is released. Moreover, committers are more likely to blog after corrective engineering than after forward engineering and re-engineering activities. Our findings call for a hypothesis-driven research to (a) further understand the role of social media in dissolving the collaboration boundaries between developers and other stakeholders and (b) integrate social media into development processes and tools.

Short TitleEmpir Software Eng
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