The Nature of Hybrid Community: An Exploratory Study of Open Source Software User Groups

  • Leigh Jin San Francisco State University
  • Daniel Robey Georgia State University
  • Marie-Claude Boudreau University of Georgia
Keywords: Hybrid Community, Open Source Software, Linux User Groups

Abstract

Much prior emphasis in the study of open source software has been placed on the virtual nature of development activities. We argue that many open source projects are better characterized as hybrid communities, which are comprised of both virtual and physically bounded activities. Our field study adopts a dual ontology to investigate the relationships between virtual and physical representations of the Linux user community. Our findings suggest that the virtual and physical representations of a hybrid community complement each other in a number of ways. Specifically, we uncover six ways through which a physical representation may complement the virtual one, and four ways through which a virtual representation may complement the physical one. We conclude that leaders of open source projects should strive to organize complementary activities across virtual and physical representations of the community.

Author Biographies

Leigh Jin, San Francisco State University

Associate Professor

Department of Information Systems

College of Business

Daniel Robey, Georgia State University

John B. Zellars Professor

Department of Computer Information Systems

Robinson College of Business

Marie-Claude Boudreau, University of Georgia

Associate Professor

Department of Management Information Systems

Terry College of Business

Published
2015-05-03
How to Cite
Jin, L., Robey, D., & Boudreau, M.-C. (2015). The Nature of Hybrid Community: An Exploratory Study of Open Source Software User Groups. The Journal of Community Informatics, 11(1). Retrieved from http://ci-journal.net/index.php/ciej/article/view/980
Section
Articles