January 17, 2005
Commons-based Peer Production

It may be a mouthful, but try to get used to saying "commons-based peer production". Open source software is an instance of it in the realm of information technology. Collaborative knowledge publications like the Wikipedia are instances in the content domain, and we are sure to see many more new categories as it spreads.

It's not a matter of ideology, but of superior economics, not for all tasks certainly, but for broad classes of undertakings in which the lower coordination costs of production (via the Internet, the Web, and protocol and tools of the digital domain) based on and leveraging, but not limited to, a shared body of knowledge and information dominate the older model of entirely private ownership.

Ted Leung blogs this nicely with a personal credo here. Ted, thanks for the inspiration to write this.

Yochai Benkler's dense but ultimately informative paper Coase's Penguin spells it out in detail (and I think is the place the mouthful was coined).

Posted by mitch@osafoundation.org at January 17, 2005 08:37 PM

Yep. Further, open development of software is vertical information assembly and open development of content is horizontal information assembly. The difference is the dependencies in the vertical.

Posted by: Ross Mayfield [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 17, 2005 08:57 PM