Benjamin Mako Hill

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This paper examines the distribution, adoption, and evolution of an open-source toolkit we developed called the LilyPad Arduino. We track the two-year history of the kit and its user community from the time the kit was commercially introduced, in October of 2007, to November of 2009. Using sales data, publicly available project documentation and surveys, we(More)
It has been suggested that the superior quality of many Free Software projects in comparison to their proprietary counterparts is in part due to the Free Software community’s extensive source code peer-review process. While many argue that software is best developed by individuals or small teams, the process of debugging is highly parallizable. This “one(More)
Opt-in surveys are the most widespread method used to study participation in online communities, but produce biased results in the absence of adjustments for non-response. A 2008 survey conducted by the Wikimedia Foundation and United Nations University at Maastricht is the source of a frequently cited statistic that less than 13% of Wikipedia contributors(More)
In this paper we argue that there is a trade-off between generativity and originality in online communities that support open collaboration. We build on foundational theoretical work in peer production to formulate and test a series of hypotheses suggesting that the generativity of creative works is associated with moderate complexity, prominent authors,(More)
In this paper, we explore the role that attribution plays in shaping user reactions to content reuse, or remixing, in a large user-generated content community. We present two studies using data from the Scratch online community - a social media platform where hundreds of thousands of young people share and remix animations and video games. First, we present(More)
Theorists and advocates of “remixing” have suggested that appropriation can act as a pathway for learning. We test this theory quantitatively using data from more than 2.4 million multimedia programming projects shared by more than 1 million users in the Scratch online community. First, we show that users who remix more often have larger(More)
Commons-based peer production – the distributed creation of freely accessible information resources through the mass aggregation of many contributions – represents a modality of collective intelligence that integrates the use of digital communication networks and information technologies [Benkler 2006; Benkler et al. 2013]. Peer production projects like(More)
Page protection is a feature of wiki software that allows administrators to restrict contributions to particular pages. For example, pages are frequently protected so that they can only be edited by administrators. Page protection affects tens of thousands of pages in English Wikipedia and renders many of Wikipedia's most visible pages uneditable by the(More)
We present a qualitative analysis of interviews with participants in the NoSleep community within Reddit where millions of fans and writers of horror fiction congregate. We explore how the community handled a massive, sudden, and sustained increase in new members. Although existing theory and stories like Usenet's infamous "Eternal September" suggest that(More)