Open Source, Game Theory, and Social Media

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Information about Open Source, Game Theory, and Social Media

Published on February 5, 2009

Author: cokoo1



Notes from my lecture about online communities, communications, connectivity, and organizational value. Delivered at USC Annenberg, January 2009.

Online Communities: The Future of Business Organization Value USC Annenberg Program in Online Communities January 2009 ETHAN BAULEY ETHANBAULEY.COM @ETHANBAULEY ETHANBAULEY@GMAIL.COM

Who can explain what the Internet is? © Ethan Bauley

Who owns the Internet? • Nobody! • The Internet itself is quot;open sourcequot;/quot;peer producedquot; (TCP/IP) • These characteristics inform the shape of productive strategies © Ethan Bauley

Commons-based peer production • Who owns it? • quot;No single person has exclusive control over the use and disposition of any particular resource in the commons.quot; (TWoN, 61) • General Public License: derivative works must be available under same license © Ethan Bauley

Open-source software • What is it? (anyone can contribute) • Economic characteristics of information (code, video, text, audio, etc) © Ethan Bauley

Open-source software • Why do people contribute? • Why do people like it? • What are some examples? © Ethan Bauley

Google vs. Yahoo • Yahoo! Directory v. Link structure of the Web • What are the differences between the two? • How does this relate to F/OSS & peer production? © Ethan Bauley

Markets, Networks, Communities • More efficient than individual firms • These forms of organization have cheap coordination costs, are geo-agnostic • Examples © Ethan Bauley

Wikipedia v. Britannica • Nature comparison • Wikipedia: community design (pillars, editors, etc) © Ethan Bauley

Craigslist v. Classifieds © Ethan Bauley

Apache v. Microsoft © Ethan Bauley

SETI@home v. Big Blue © Ethan Bauley

P2P v. Akamai © Ethan Bauley

Peer-to-Peer Communication • How it used to be • How it is in the networked world • Velocity © Ethan Bauley

Designing communities • Wikipedia policy • Slashdot • Hacker News • Usenet • Avoiding situations wherein individual rationality hurts the common good © Ethan Bauley

Game Theory • Mathematics of social science • Beautiful Mind • Cold War • Rigorous analysis of conflict...aka quot;interactionquot; © Ethan Bauley

Game Theory • Volunteer's dilemma: free riders • Prisoner's dilemma: individual rationality hurts the common good • Backward induction paradox © Ethan Bauley

Game Theory & Community • Historically, a principal source of advantage is information asymmetry • What happens when all players have full information? • Connectivity (broadband, social media, social needs of people) drives awareness, which drives strategy © Ethan Bauley

Game Theory & Connectivity • A perpetual state of peer review (student blog example) - Does it change behavior? • Backward induction, connected consumers & lemons © Ethan Bauley

Game theory of connectivity You may work together in the future; everyone else sees how you played your last move (and all moves beforehand). This is a powerful incentive towards quot;goodquot; behavior (and is why quot;Be Goodquot; is razor sharp strategy). © Ethan Bauley

Game theory + open source = Cooperative advantage • Cooperative advantage: Life is not a zero- sum game. We can grow the pie by working together. • Goal is to be the quot;most desirable collaboration partnerquot; • You can't do everything • Business networks (not quot;chainsquot;) © Ethan Bauley

Source of advantage • Talent (a.k.a. human capital + social capital) • In a world of increasingly rapid change, disruption is the new equilibrium • Only sustainable source of advantage is: ability to learn faster than competition © Ethan Bauley

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