The Behavior and Network Position of Peer Production Founders

  • Jeremy FooteEmail author
  • Noshir Contractor
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10766)


Online peer production projects, such as Wikipedia and open-source software, have become important producers of cultural and technological goods. While much research has been done on the way that large existing projects work, little is known about how projects get started or who starts them. Nor is it clear how much influence founders have on the future trajectory of a community. We measure the behavior and social networks of 60,959 users on over a two month period. We compare the activity, local network positions, and global network positions of future founders and non-founders. We then explore the relationship between these measures and the relative growth of a founder’s wikis. We suggest hypotheses for future research based on this exploratory analysis.


Global Network Positioning Online Peer Production (OPP) Novelty-seeking Behavior User Talk Pages Identify Candidate Predictors 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by the Army Research Office (W911NF-14-10686) and the NSF (IIS-1617468, IIS-1617129). The authors also wish to thank the iConference reviewers for their very helpful comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

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