February 17, 2008
Originally posted on theploneblog.org
Free Software Developers at Work and Play
I haven’t posted much here lately, but I have been writing. I recently
finished my first semester as a doctoral student in Columbia’s school of journalism and one of the papers I completed draws directly on my experiences in the Plone Community. A few years ago I remember being struck at how different open source development was from what I (and presumably others) imagined it to be. I kept pitching human interest stories to journalists, ones that might emphasize the playfulness, the sprinting, and the organizational experimentation, but got very few nibbles. So, I finally wrote some of this up myself before it all fades from memory:
The paper was for a wonderful class this semester at the New School taught by Paolo Carpignano (The Political Economy of Media – here is the syllabus).
The class was all about the shifting relations between fabrication and
communication, or more colloquially, work and play. We opened with Marx
and Hannah Arendt and closed with Yochai Benkler and danah boyd. The piece I wrote is personal and anecdotal, but reflects on all that our community has taught me about free software, free culture, organizing, consensus building and the day to day politics of software development.