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Title:Crowds and Communities: Light and Heavyweight Models of Peer Production
Author(s):Haythornthwaite, Caroline A.
Subject(s):peer production
virtual community
System design
Abstract:Two collaborative forms of organizing dominate discussion of open participation and production on the Internet: a crowdsourcing model based on micro-participation from many, unconnected individuals, and a virtual community model, based on strong connections among a committed set of connected members. This paper argues that dimensions such as task interdependence, authority control, and group focus underpin behaviors associated with participation in such open systems, resulting in contributory behaviors that can be described at one end as ‘lightweight’, functioning by weak-tie attachment to a common purpose, enacted through authority-determined, rule-based contribution, and at the other end as ‘heavyweight’, operating through strong-tie affiliation with community members and community purpose, enacted through internally-negotiated, peer-reviewed contribution. Examination and articulation of these dimensions, and the resulting patterns of contributory behavior they engender, help reconcile peer production and virtual community approaches to online collaboration, explain motivational and structural aspects of new forms of collaborative production, and inform design for building and sustaining collective contributory systems.
Issue Date:2009-01
Citation Info:Haythornthwaite, C. (Jan. 2009). Crowds and communities: Light and heavyweight models of peer production. Proceedings of the 42nd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. Los Alamitos, CA: IEEE Computer Society.
Genre:Conference Paper / Presentation
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Peer Reviewed:is peer reviewed
Date Available in IDEALS:2008-12-29

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