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Re: communication intensity in OSS

Hi Martin

Am Freitag, den 02.11.2007, 15:33 +0100 schrieb Martin F. Krafft:
> does anyone know of a journal article which assesses the intensity
> of communication of open-source projects, compared to physical
> organisations? I postulate that it's a lot higher due to mailing
> lists and chat channels, and since it's going on around the clock,

Although we don't compare to COTS development we assessed newsgroup
traffic within the Eclipse community. It's quite a huge number of
messages, over 370'000 over the last 6 years. And these are only support
discussions, developer discussions are on the mailing lists which
account for another +100'000 messages. If you're interested I send you
the paper in a PM.

Also the following papers analyze communication patterns in open and
closed environments: (found in my own JabRef library ;)

Dahlander, L. & Frederiksen, L. (2007). 'Communication And Boundary
Spanning In A Firm-Hosted Online User Community', Imperial College
London, (unpublished)

Constant, D.; Sproull, L. & Kiesler, S. (1996). 'The Kindness Of
Strangers: The Usefulness Of Electronic Weak Ties For Technical Advice',
Organization Science, 7, 119-135. 

Crowston, K. & Howison, J. (2006). 'Hierarchy And Centralization In Free
And Open Source Software Team Communications', Knowledge, Technology,
and Policy, 18, 65-85. 

Moenaert, R. K.; Caeldries, F.; Lievens, A. & Wauters, E. (2000).
'Communication Flows In International Product Innovation Teams', Journal
of Product Innovation Management, 17, 360-377. 

> I am trying to match an older claim to Debian. The claim says that
> ideas spread faster in networks with high values of geographic
> proximity. It seems perfectly sensible that with IRC and mailing
> lists, Debian is actually quite tightly knit, despite the large
> geographic span. Or does anyone disagree with that?

Interesting hypothesis! Stefan Häfliger of our team might know more
literature about this research issue.

Good luck with your literature review, best,


Matthias Stuermer | +41 44 632 89 13 | +41 76 368 81 65
mstuermer@ethz.ch | http://www.smi.ethz.ch
ETH Zurich | D-MTEC | Chair of Strategic Management and Innovation
KPL G 13 | Kreuzplatz 5 | CH-8032 Zurich | Switzerland

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