I’m a longer passionate on community-oriented products: I’ve researched on how they work, have led one to their goal and participate in some. It’s not a new story what they are considered a powerful way to build your products (sometimes, a better one than doing in through the market or internally in a firm/closed-group-of-people). Nevertheless, I’m still looking for some good resources to learn more. For those who like the topic, find here someones I found useful (and I’d like hearing your recommendations!):
- Producing Open Source Software: the best book I’ve read on how to manage free software projects. Not only a good review on several tools, but also take into account the policies, what gives sense and glue together the community. Very practical.
- Coase’s Penguin, or Linux and the nature of the firm, by Yochai Benkler. The best academic text I’ve ever red on the matter. Benkler tries to explain why in S-XXI communities emerge as a new way to build products. You will find parallelism to the text where Coase explained why firms emerged in the S-XIX and replace local markets as preferred option. I think some more work is needed to formalized this concept in the academic arena, but the paper is clear, understandable and put the basis to further research. It’s a pioneer.
- Community antipatterns: a good talk by Dave Neary. Although it’s also focused on software development, I think it has lessons for broad communities. Sometimes, and much more in recently discovered fields, we have no idea what have worked, but know what have no worked.
- Other’s experiences. Particulary, I’ve found very useful these texts:
- Contribute/BestPractices, by Mozilla.
- How wikipedia works.
- Others I can’t remember now.
In the road to understand how a community fully works, you will review topics as economics, group interaction and even antropology! I find it very intructive. As broad as the theme is, it has plenty of room to learn more of other sciences. So, being involved in a community, study or just read about it’s a good oportunity to learn.
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