Peer Production

Peer production (also known by the term mass collaboration) is a way of producing goods and services that relies on self-organizing communities of individuals who come together to produce a shared outcome. The content is produced by the general public rather than by paid professionals and experts in the field. In these communities, the efforts of a large number of people are coordinated to create meaningful projects. The information age, especially the Internet, has provided the peer production process with new collaborative possibilities and has become a dominant and important mode of producing information. Free and open source software are two examples of modern processes of peer production. One of the earliest instances of networked peer production is Project Gutenberg, a project that involves volunteers that make "etexts" from out-of-copyright works available online. Modern examples are Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia, and Linux, a computer operating system. For-profit enterprises mostly use partial implementations of peer production, and would include such sites as Flickr, Etsy,Digg, and Delicious. Peer production refers to the production process on which the previous examples are based. Commons-based peer production is a subset of peer production.

Peer production occurs in a socio-technical system which allows thousands of individuals to effectively cooperate to create a non-exclusive given outcome. These collective efforts are informal. Peer production is a collaborative effort with no limit to the amount of discussion or changes that can be made to the product. However, as in the case of Wikipedia, a large amount, in fact the majority, of this collaborative effort is maintained by very few devoted and active individuals. It is the consistent activity of these individuals which dictates the success on a given project.

Crowdsourcing products like community cookbooks were a form of peer production. Gooseberry Patch has used its customer/friend community to create its line of exclusive cookbooks for over 18 years.

Peer production has also been utilized in producing collaborative Open Education Resources (OERs). Writing Commons, an international open textbook spearheaded by Joe Moxley at the University of South Florida, has evolved from a print textbook into a crowd-sourced resource for college writers around the world. Massive open online course (MOOC) platforms have also generated interest in building online eBooks. The Cultivating Change Community (CCMOOC) at the University of Minnesota is one such project founded entirely on a grassroots model to generate content. In 10 weeks, 150 authors contributed more than 50 chapters to the CCMOOC eBook and companion site.

Many organizations research the peer production phenomena, including the P2P Foundation, run by Michel Bauwens and Franco Iacomella.

Other articles related to "peer production, peer, production":

Michel Bauwens - P2P Theory
... In The Political Economy of Peer Production Bauwens regards p2p phenomena as an emerging alternative to capitalist society, although he argues that "Peer ... already existing outside the sphere of free/open source software production and other non-rival immaterial goods ... This idea is explored also in the essay "Peer to Peer and Human Evolution" that expands the P2P meme beyond computer technology ...
Socialist Economics - Socialist Economies in Practice - Social Ownership and Peer-to-peer Production
... making, workplace democracy and in some cases, production directly for use, have existed within the broader context of the capitalist mode of production ... Michel Bauwens identifies the emergence of the open software movement and peer-to-peer production as an emergent alternative mode of production to the capitalist economy that is based on ... Commons-based peer production generally involves developers who produce goods and services with no aim to profit directly, but freely contribute to a project relying upon ...

Famous quotes containing the words production and/or peer:

    ... this dream that men shall cease to waste strength in competition and shall come to pool their powers of production is coming to pass all over the earth.
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    Research shows clearly that parents who have modeled nurturant, reassuring responses to infants’ fears and distress by soothing words and stroking gentleness have toddlers who already can stroke a crying child’s hair. Toddlers whose special adults model kindliness will even pick up a cookie dropped from a peer’s high chair and return it to the crying peer rather than eat it themselves!
    Alice Sterling Honig (20th century)