Material on the third session of the peer production curso: characteristics of peer production

Session 3 – Characterists of Peer Production, Part 2

Sala 142: dias 19/11,


– Definitions, ch. 4, pp. 158-159

– Read the following entries in ; ;

– Detailed overview of the characteristics:

  1. Anti-Credentialism: refers to the inclusiveness of peer production. What matters is the ability to carry out a particular task, not any formal a priori credential ( ≠ credentialism). URL :
  2. Anti-Rivalry: sharing the created goods does not diminish the value of the good, but actually enhances it ( ≠ rivalry). ; URL :
  3. Communal Validation: the quality control is not a ‘a priori’ condition of participation, but a post-hoc control process, usually community-driven ( ≠ hierarchical control). URL :
  4. Distribution of Tasks: there are no roles and jobs to be performed, only specific tasks to be carried out ( ≠ division of labor). URL:
  5. Equipotentiality: people are judged on the particular aspects of their being that is involved in the execution of a particular task ( ≠ people ranking). ;
  6. For Benefit: (Benefit Sharing; Benefit-Driven Production). The production aims to create use value or ‘benefits’ for its user community, not profits for shareholders ( ≠ for-profit). URL:
  7. Forking: the freedom to copy and modify includes the possibility to take the project into a different direction ( ≠ one authorized version). ; URL :
  8. Granularity: refers to the effort to create the smallest possible modules (see Modularity infra), so that the treshold of participation for carrying out tasks is lowered to the lowest possible extent. URL :
  9. Holoptism; transparency is the default state of information about the project; all additions can be seen and verified and are sourced ( ≠ panoptism). URL :
  10. Modularity: tasks, products and services are organized as modules, that fit with other modules in a puzzle that is continuously re-assembled; anybody can contribute to any module. URL :
  11. Negotiated Coordination: conflicts are resolved through an ongoing and mediated dialogue, not by fiat and top-down decisions ( ≠ centralized and hierarchical decision-making). URL:
  12. Permissionlessness: one does not need permission to contribute to the commons( ≠ permission culture).
  13. Produsage: there is no strict separation between production and consumption, and users can produce solutions ( ≠ production for consumption). URL :
  14. Stigmergy: there is a signalling language that permits system needs to be broadcast and matched to contributions. URL :

– Other Key concepts: ;

– Alternative definitions:

Eric Raymond:
C. Vercelli:

– Understanding the role of transaction/communication/coordination costs: ; ;


Bauwens, M. (2006). The Political Economy of Peer Production. Post-Autistic Economics Review (37).  URL:

Benkler, Yochai (2006). The wealth of the networks. How social production transforms markets and freedom? Saatavissa: <>; More at

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