Monday, April 27, 2009

The logic behind Mass Collaboration

What is mass collaboration?
As Wikipedia states it, mass collaboration is a form of collective action that occurs when large numbers of people work independently on a single project, often modular in its nature. Wikipedia itself, for instance, is a result of such mass collaboration.

Why is it good?
Mass collaboration is brought about by people who work voluntarily on a project. Unlike the conventional way projects are worked upon by companies on a commercial level, this is done by people at will in their free time, without being paid. This gives mass-collaborated projects an edge over conventional ones. Some of them are:
  • Free software - Mass collaborated software can be distributed for use by people free of cost, making them more attractive to the end-user.
  • Open-source - These softwares have an open source that can be edited and re-compiled by anyone without legal restrictions.
  • Everyone gets what they want - In the process of developing open source software, people who develop it do it out of enthusiasm, and the ones who use it, get it for free, creating a win-win situation. On the contrary, proprietary software marketed at a price is developed by a team of employees of a company, who may or may not have delivered the best of their skills (you don't always give your best at your place of work, do you?), leaving a lot of room for improvement.
  • Ideas - Since mass collaborated projects are handled by a large number of people, they never fall short of ideas and evolve faster.
  • Language support - The sources of programs being open , developers from various regions can contribute towards creating translated versions of applications.
Most importantly, as we are facing an economic downturn worldwide, we need a better economic mechanism, which is what the FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) movement hopes to deliver.

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