October 12th, 2020
Michael Kaminsky recently emailed me an interesting post he wrote about bounties in open source, and I took the opportunity to write up some thoughts that had been swirling in my head for a while. You can find the (lightly edited) response I sent to him below.
Bounties are great for well-scoped, low-context work. For example, bounties work can quite well for things like penetration testing, because it's fairly clear what the objective is (sp...
October 12th, 2020
Nadia Eghbal’s new book, Working In Public: the Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software, may not have been on your short list of books to read this year. It’s admittedly a nerdy topic: it’s about open source projects, roles and responsibilities; the rise of GitHub as a developer platform; and how developer culture is evolving around the new power of creator platforms.
I recommend you get it. It is mostly about software development, bu...
March 14th, 2020
Written by Clay ShirkyFirst published March 30, 2004 on the "Networks, Economics, and Culture"
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I teach at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), where the student population is about evenly divided between technologists who care about aesthetics and artists who aren't afraid of machines, which makes it a pretty good place to see the future.
Part of the future I believe I'm seeing is a ...
April 7th, 2019
A special characteristic of open source software (OSS) is that you don't need institutional support to get started. It's interesting to compare this to physical infrastructure, like dams or railroads. Before you can begin those projects, you need upfront capital, permits, rights-of-way, environmental impact reviews, community hearings... and so much more.
By contrast, all you need in order to begin a digital infrastructure project is an inte...
June 3rd, 2018
Epistemic status: High confidence about the pros/cons discussed regarding my own experience, fairly low confidence about the parts I heard secondhand.
Epistemic effort: Low-to-medium effort. I realized these things were connected while I was in the shower last night, then I spent two hours stream-of-consciousness writing to get them onto the page. I then read it over once for minor editing and shared it with a friend to sanity check.