Blog Archives

One white middle-class man


By Mayo Fuster, researcher, Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3-UOC).

Head of the P2PValue project and faculty associate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Mayo Fuster relies on recent data to support her reflections on the main question of this blog. According to her, peer production has still issues to address — for instance, it is not coping very well with gender equity —, but above all the success of the model, which now encompasses more than 30 areas of activity, relies on its increased efficiency. Get Fuster’s complete reflections on the topic in the short video below. Her contribution was recorded at the Ouishare Fest Barcelona event.

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Posted in Open Thoughts 2014

Providing new sources of trust


By Javier Creus, founder of Ideas for Change and Pentagrowth.

An entrepreneur and specialist in collaborative economy, Javier Creus believes it takes more than one to change the light bulb, but gathering around one thousand peers working collaboratively might be enough to achieve a lot of things. According to him, organisations based in peer-to-peer alternatives can lead to new sources of trust and augmented resilience, but they eventually may have to deal with the complexity rise and effort sustaining over time. Watch the short video below to get his complete reflections on the topic. This contribution was possible thanks to the kind collaboration of the Ouishare Fest Barcelona event.

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Posted in Open Thoughts 2014

The citizen producer at the epicenter of the P2P revolution


By Albert Cañigueral, founder of ConsumoColaborativo and OuiShare Connector in Barcelona (Spain).

Platforms are eating the world

Never before in human history has been as simple as today to coordinate peers at a massive scale. Jeremy Heimans calls it the “new power” and we see new power all around us. Wikipedia is a prime example of this.

The same basic capabilities are applied to the co-creation and exchange of, not only information, but goods, services, money, value, etc. Sharing economy, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, p2p economy, etc. you can pick your favorite term to describe this scenario where people are empowered to get directly what they need from each other. Traditional businesses are being disrupted by coordinated collaboration among the people formerly known as “customers”. The genie is clearly out of the bottle and won’t be put back anytime soon.

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Posted in Open Thoughts 2014

Knowledge should be free


By Katherine Maher, Chief Communications Officer, Wikimedia Foundation.

Knowledge should be free, open, and collaborative. This is the idea at the heart of Wikipedia. It is what has made Wikipedia the largest collaborative free knowledge resource in human history, and one of the most popular websites in the world.

The Wikipedia vision is a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. For us to realize this world, collaboration is critical. At the Wikimedia Foundation we believe that we won’t reach the sum of all knowledge without the contributions of all people, so we are committed to expanding opportunities for people from around the globe to contribute to, and learn from, the Wikimedia projects.

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Posted in Open Thoughts 2014

Reliability vs verifiability on Wikipedia, the peer production encyclopedia


By Pep Adrian, wikipedian in residence at the UOC.

Wikipedia has been said to be the largest commons-based peer production project in the world. Since its creation in 2001 it has been edited and reviewed billions of times. It has long achieved the goal to be the greatest encyclopedia even written, and aims to be the sum of all human knowledge.

When explaining Wikipedia to non-editors we always face the same question: Is it reliable? And sometimes we are tempted to answer quite straightforwardly: No. It is not and never will be. However we must concede that this is not a good way to present oneself and must keep on explaining.

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Posted in Open Thoughts 2014

Is science compatible with peer production?


By Eduard Aibar, associate professor and researcher, UOC-IN3

Science has often been described by many sociologists as a collective enterprise. Most scientific research is done in collaboration, and collaboration can even involve thousands of scientists — as in the case of the Large Hadron Collider experiments. The standard publication system of science is based on colleagues’ collaboration and evaluation through the peer-review process.

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Posted in Open Thoughts 2014
About the Question
How many peers does it take to change a light bulb?

Systems like Linux and websites like Wikipedia are paradigmatic of a particular way of open collaboration known as peer production. Peer producers choose their tasks freely and coordinate their work using open digital platforms. They share the fruits of their labour as part of a global commons, and everyone works according to their abilities and benefits according to their needs.

Is this an emerging form of communism? Or the future of liberal capitalism? Or is it simply a new mode of production? In this blog we want to explore both the benefits and the downsides of such way of working.

UOC/IN3 degrees