Why Do Episodic Volunteers Stay in FLOSS Communities?

Abstract: Successful Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) projects incorporate both habitual and infrequent, or episodic, contributors. Using the concept of episodic volunteering (EV) from the general volunteering literature, we derive a model consisting of five key constructs that we hypothesize affect episodic volunteers’ retention in FLOSS communities. To evaluate the model we conducted a survey and received responses from over 100 FLOSS episodic volunteers. We observe that three of the constructs (social norms, satisfaction and community commitment) are all positively associated with volunteers’ intention to remain, while the two other constructs (psychological sense of community and contributor benefit motivations) are not. Furthermore, exploratory clustering on unobserved heterogeneity suggests that there are four distinct categories of volunteers: satisfied, classic, social and obligated. Based on our findings, we offer suggestions for projects to incorporate and manage episodic volunteers, so as to better leverage this type of contributors and potentially improve projects’ sustainability.

Keywords: Community management, episodic volunteering, open source software, volunteer management

Reference: Barcomb, A., Stol KJ, Riehle, D., & Fitzgerald, B. (2019). Why Do Episodic Volunteers Stay in FLOSS Communities? In Proceedings of the 41st International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2019).

The paper is available as a PDF file.

Open-Up Camp in Nuremberg February 14-16, 2014 (in German)

On Feb 14-16, 2014, the OpenUp Camp about all things open (practitioner) will take place in Nuremberg. Feb 14 is the “business day” and it will have a focus in open source user foundations, to which I’ll make a contribution:

Prof. Dr. Dirk Riehle, FAU, berichtet über aktuelle Forschung zum Thema Open-Source-Anwenderkonsortien. Er geht hierbei auf die zugrunde liegenden wirtschaftlichen Strukturen und das zu etablierende Ökosystem ein. Am Beispiel der Kuali Foundation, welche seit 10 Jahren die Software für amerikanische Universitäten entwickeln lässt, wird Motivation und Gewinn für Anwender und Hersteller gleichermassen diskutiert.

Looking forward to the event and see you there!

Open Source Day in Nuremberg

The Open Source Business Alliance (OSBA) will hold its annual Open Source Day in Nuremberg this year, on 2013-11-20. For more information, please see the flyer.

I am a member of the OSBA (the former Linux Solutions Group). I am also a member of the Open Source Business Foundation (OSBF), which is headquartered in Nuremberg. So I’m slightly irritated that the OSBA is holding an open source day in Nuremberg, but of course I wish it all the best. (Sadly, I won’t be able to attend, because I’m on sabbatical in Silicon Valley).

All I want for Christmas is that the People’s Front of Judea will finally merge with the Judean People’s Front and open its Berlin office. There is a lot of work to be done.

Call for Participation: WikiSym + OpenSym 2013, the 9th International Symposium on Open Collaboration

WikiSym, the 9th International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration

OpenSym, the 2013 International Symposium on Open Collaboration

August 5-7, 2013 | Hong Kong, China

Registration >> Program Overview | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Industry Tutorials

Conference Program

The conference program is led by three renowned keynote speakers: Phil Bourne, founding editor of PLOS, will talk about the era of open, Pockey Lam, of the Digital Freedom Foundation, will talk about open education, and Dario Taraborelli, of the Wikimedia Foundation, will talk about current and future Wikipedia research.

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Call for Participation: OC13 – Open Commons Kongress in Linz, Austria, 2013-05-14

Please consider participating in the Open Commons Kongress, OC13, in Linz, Austria (I’m on the advisory board.) More information below (in German). [DR]

OC13 – Open Commons Kongress

14.05.2013, 9:00 – 16:30 Uhr

Wissensturm Linz, Austria

Lernen und Leben mit digitalen Gemeingütern

Zum zweiten Mal veranstaltet die Johannes Kepler Universität Linz und die Open Commons Region Linz den Open Commons Kongress. Der heurige Titel lautet “OC13: Lernen und Leben mit digitalen Gemeingütern”. Die Veranstaltung findet am Dienstag, 14. Mai im Wissensturm statt.

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Announcing OpenSym 2013, the Open Symposium!

OpenSym is the conference for open collaboration researchers and practitioners, including free/libre/open source software, but also open access, open data, open government, and open innovation. OpenSym 2013 will be held for the first time in 2013, on Aug 5-7, in Hong Kong, China. OpenSym joins hands with WikiSym, an established conference that brings together wiki and Wikipedia researchers and practitioners. WikiSym + OpenSym 2013 will co-locate with Wikimania 2013, the Wikipedia (and related) user conference.

OpenSym is unique in bringing together all strands of “open researchers” and I can’t wait to see how it works out! It is truly an exciting time to experience how researchers and practitioners join hands across disciplines to make the world a better place!

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WikiSym 2010 Program Announced!

The WikiSym 2010 program has been announced. Keynotes are by Cliff Lampe and Andrew Lih, and the program is full of research talks, workshops, posters, and demos. And, of course, there is a continuous track of open space available for everyone to discuss their wiki and open collaboration interests and issues. Check it out! And see you at WikiSym 2010, July 7-9, in Gdansk, Poland!

Web 2.0 Pattern Mining Workshop

I’m on the program committee of the Web 2.0 Pattern Mining Workshop @ TOOLS 2008 Europe. Please consider submitting a paper.

Abstract: Web 2.0 features are now commonplace—blogs, wikis, RSS feeds, social bookmarking and the like are almost everywhere you look online. Now that these technologies are maturing, what are their common problems and challenges? How are these problems being solved? What similar challenges do Web 2.0 developers face, and how can they leverage the most common solutions? Here’s your chance to gather with other professionals facing the same issues and work together to identify solutions.

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