Open Source Intelligence by Felix Stalder and Jesse Hirch

June 6, 2002

Abstract: The Open Source movement has established over the last decade a new collaborative approach, uniquely adapted to the Internet, to developing high-quality informational products. Initially, its exclusive application was the development of software (GNU/Linux and Apache are among the most prominent projects), but increasingly we can observe this collaborative approach being applied to areas beyond the coding of software. One such area is the collaborative gathering and analysis of information, a practice we term “Open Source Intelligence”. In this article, we use three case studies – the nettime mailing list, the Wikipedia project and the NoLogo Web site – to show some the breadth of contexts and analyze the variety of socio-technical approaches that make up this emerging phenomenon.

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