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Amateurs and Professionals in Information Technology

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This is a talk I gave while a guest of Greg Downey at the School of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Published in: Technology, Career
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Amateurs and Professionals in Information Technology

  1. 1. Amateur 2.0 Thinking about Labor in the Web 2.0 era
  2. 2. Videophiles ca. 1977
  3. 3. Videophile Community
  4. 4. Videophile Community “[In 1976] I used to lug my 50 pound SL7200 over to [a friend’s] house, we’d go up in his attic, where we had some room, and we dubbed tapes, and I’d bring it back that night or the next day to my house.”
  5. 5. Videophile Community “[In 1976] I used to lug my 50 pound SL7200 over to [a friend’s] house, we’d go up in his attic, where we had some room, and we dubbed tapes, and I’d bring it back that night or the next day to my house.” Tinkering to connect Betamaxes for dubbing
  6. 6. Videophile Community “[In 1976] I used to lug my 50 pound SL7200 over to [a friend’s] house, we’d go up in his attic, where we had some room, and we dubbed tapes, and I’d bring it back that night or the next day to my house.” Tinkering to connect Betamaxes for dubbing Taping parties
  7. 7. Videophile Community “[In 1976] I used to lug my 50 pound SL7200 over to [a friend’s] house, we’d go up in his attic, where we had some room, and we dubbed tapes, and I’d bring it back that night or the next day to my house.” Tinkering to connect Betamaxes for dubbing Taping parties Video conventions (Video Collectors of Ohio, etc.)
  8. 8. “What I would most like to do is trade tapes with those of you who are willing to keep an eye out for my wants, while I will, of course, do the same for you. At present I have neither the time nor the inclination to be a taping service (e.g. tape every episode of certain shows every day for someone). As much as possible I would like to keep things on a strict hobby-type nonprofit basis. I have no desire to gouge you for the opportunity to see shows that are of interest to you if it is within my ability to bring them to you.” (Jim Lowe, The Videophile’s Newsletter, 1976)
  9. 9. “What I would most like to do is trade tapes with those of you who are willing to keep an eye out for my wants, while I will, of course, do the same for you. At present I have neither the time nor the inclination to be a taping service (e.g. tape every episode of certain shows every day for someone). As much as possible I would like to keep things on a strict hobby-type nonprofit basis. I have no desire to gouge you for the opportunity to see shows that are of interest to you if it is within my ability to bring them to you.” (Jim Lowe, The Videophile’s Newsletter, 1976)
  10. 10. “What I would most like to do is trade tapes with those of you who are willing to keep an eye out for my wants, while I will, of course, do the same for you. At present I have neither the time nor the inclination to be a taping service (e.g. tape every episode of certain shows every day for someone). As much as possible I would like to keep things on a strict hobby-type nonprofit basis. I have no desire to gouge you for the opportunity to see shows that are of interest to you if it is within my ability to bring them to you.” (Jim Lowe, The Videophile’s Newsletter, 1976)
  11. 11. “Amateurs”
  12. 12. Videophiles
  13. 13. Videophiles Audiophiles
  14. 14. Videophiles Audiophiles Computer Hackers
  15. 15. Videophiles Audiophiles Computer Hackers Hot Rod Tinkerers
  16. 16. Videophiles Audiophiles Computer Hackers Hot Rod Tinkerers Ham Radio Operators
  17. 17. Videophiles Audiophiles Computer Hackers Hot Rod Tinkerers Ham Radio Operators DIY Culture
  18. 18. “Amateurs”
  19. 19. “Professionals”
  20. 20. Professional vs. Amateur
  21. 21. Professional vs. Amateur Outward motivation
  22. 22. Professional vs. Amateur Outward motivation Market, client, salary
  23. 23. Professional vs. Amateur Outward motivation Market, client, salary “Work” (valuable)
  24. 24. Professional vs. Amateur Outward motivation Market, client, salary “Work” (valuable) Employee, Labor
  25. 25. Professional vs. Amateur Outward motivation Inward motivation Market, client, salary “Work” (valuable) Employee, Labor
  26. 26. Professional vs. Amateur Outward motivation Inward motivation Market, client, “Love” salary “Work” (valuable) Employee, Labor
  27. 27. Professional vs. Amateur Outward motivation Inward motivation Market, client, “Love” salary “Leisure” (frivolous) “Work” (valuable) Employee, Labor
  28. 28. Professional vs. Amateur Outward motivation Inward motivation Market, client, “Love” salary “Leisure” (frivolous) “Work” (valuable) Enthusiast, Hobbyist Employee, Labor
  29. 29. Professional vs. Amateur mac vs. pc
  30. 30. Why Study Amateurs?
  31. 31. Why Study Amateurs? Point us toward overlooked sites/ populations
  32. 32. Why Study Amateurs? Point us toward overlooked sites/ populations Examine the gray areas of production and consumption
  33. 33. Why Study Amateurs? Point us toward overlooked sites/ populations Examine the gray areas of production and consumption Better understand the relationship between identity and work
  34. 34. Zotero
  35. 35. demo
  36. 36. Zotero Server
  37. 37. Zotero Server Seamless backup, remote access to database
  38. 38. Zotero Server Seamless backup, remote access to database Sharing / Collaboration
  39. 39. Zotero Server Seamless backup, remote access to database Sharing / Collaboration Social tagging
  40. 40. Zotero Server Seamless backup, remote access to database Sharing / Collaboration Social tagging Granular item & folder-level permissions (view/edit items, attachments, notes)
  41. 41. Web 2.0 Source: O’Reilly, “What is Web 2.0” (http:// www.oreillynet.com/lpt/a/6228)
  42. 42. Web 2.0 Coined by Tim O’Reilly Source: O’Reilly, “What is Web 2.0” (http:// www.oreillynet.com/lpt/a/6228)
  43. 43. Web 2.0 Coined by Tim O’Reilly “The central principle behind the success of the giants born in the Web 1.0 era who have survived to lead the Web 2.0 era appears to be this, that they have embraced the power of the Source: O’Reilly, “What is Web 2.0” (http:// www.oreillynet.com/lpt/a/6228)
  44. 44. Source: O’Reilly, “What is Web 2.0” (http:// www.oreillynet.com/lpt/a/6228)
  45. 45. Source: O’Reilly, “What is Web 2.0” (http:// www.oreillynet.com/lpt/a/6228)
  46. 46. Amateurs on the Web
  47. 47. Amateurs on the Web Bloggers
  48. 48. Amateurs on the Web Bloggers Wikipedia
  49. 49. Amateurs on the Web Bloggers Wikipedia YouTube
  50. 50. YouTube
  51. 51. but...
  52. 52. Collaborative Filtering
  53. 53. Folksonomy
  54. 54. Folksonomy I collect things, and tag with keywords so that I can find them later.
  55. 55. Folksonomy I collect things, and tag with keywords so that I can find them later. You do the same thing.
  56. 56. Folksonomy I collect things, and tag with keywords so that I can find them later. You do the same thing. Software aggregates and statistically processes individual choices into one meta-archive.
  57. 57. Flickr
  58. 58. Upcoming
  59. 59. “Leveraging Solipsism” - Peter Merholz, Adaptive Path
  60. 60. What’s the crowd doing?
  61. 61. What’s the crowd doing? Producing value
  62. 62. What’s the crowd doing? Producing value Not paid
  63. 63. What’s the crowd doing? Producing value Not paid Not intentional
  64. 64. What’s the crowd doing? Producing value Not paid Not intentional Doesn’t fit standard definition of “work”
  65. 65. What’s the crowd doing? Producing value Not paid Not intentional Doesn’t fit standard definition of “work”
  66. 66. “Amateur”
  67. 67. “Amateur” not about skill
  68. 68. “Amateur” not about skill not about payment
  69. 69. “Amateur” not about skill not about payment (”gift economy”)
  70. 70. “Amateur” not about skill not about payment (”gift economy”) about identity and intention
  71. 71. “Amateur” not about skill not about payment (”gift economy”) about identity and intention actions are undertaken for their own sake, “for love of” the action itself
  72. 72. So what?

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