Motivations in FLOSS communities (aka the Chocolate talk)Sébastien Heymann - Gephi Consortium http://sebastien.pro firstname.lastname@example.org
Some words about me...Community manager of the Gephi project.I democratize network thinking.PhD candidate in complex networks @LIP6.I love chocolates too :)
Motivations in studying motivationsWho would be likely to contribute to myproject?How to attract skilled developers?Who is worth the time spent?What win-win deals can we make?
"In many ways, I actually think the real idea of open source is for it to allow everybody to be selfish, not about trying to get everybody to contribute to some common good. [...]Now, those selfish reasons by no means need to be about financial reward, though."Interview of L. Torvalds for the BBC, June 2012
"When I started making a living writing add-ons and other Mozilla software, I felt I needed to give something back [...]. So there werealtruistic and selfish reasons mixed together." Interview of B. King (Mozilla volunteer) by Tristan Nitot, Dec 2012
Plan: beyond altruism vs selfishness1. Why motivation matters?2. Intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation.3. Why care about intrinsic motivation?4. Open questions.
3. Why motivation matters? image: The Big Lebowski
Key issues in FLOSS communitiesFast evolution! need for creativity.Contributors are not paid most of the time.Contributions based on free will.Willingness to cooperate.
Contributors?People who:● develop● communicate● manage● use and spread the word● ...
Why contribute for FREE?for glory? for White Russians? for t3h lulz? :) What about you?
For personal values "I refuse to break solidarity with other users. [...] So that I can continue to use computers without dishonor, I have decided to put together a sufficient body of free software..." The GNU Manifesto [online], 1985 R. Stallman
For social status"I have enough recognition that Ifeel good about myself, that Iknow that what Im doing isactually meaningful to people." Linux Manifesto [online], 1998 L. Torvalds
dude, come on2. Intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation image: AllTheRageFaces.com
Motivation: what makes [a dude] engaged for something. (Deci & Ryan, 1985)
Intrinsic vs extrinsic motivationIntrinsic motivation:Something is "valued for its own sake andappears to be self sustained".(Calder & Straw, 1975)Extrinsic motivation:Something is perceived as an investment.(Deci & Ryan, 1985)
Some intrinsic incentivesFeeling of being skilled and being proud ofsomething.Joy to give and be useful.Aesthetic/creative pleasure.To satisfy some personal values, like freedom.
Some extrinsic (positive) incentivesMoney, rewards.Source code for personal needs.Positive feedbacks.Social status / reputation.
People with high intrinsic motivations are great contributors.
"People for whom [the pure artisticsatisfaction of designing beautiful software and making it work] is not a significantmotivation never become hackers in the first place, just as people who dont love music never become composers."- Homesteading the Noosphere, chap.7, 2000 E. Raymond
Benefits of intrinsic motivationsBetter creativity.Faster learning.Increased autonomy of contributors.Better code.
FLOSS communities: we may not have oil, but we have intrinsic motivation.
How to get intrinsic motivations high?Take care of contributors:● autonomy,● emotional attachment (to the project),● skills evolution.
How to get intrinsic motivations high?Take care of contributors:● autonomy,● emotional attachment (to the project),● skills evolution.Intrinsic motivation increases when one:● feels that he/she has the control,● and receives positive, detailed feedback.
"Individuals join for various reasons,and no one reason tends to dominate the community." (Lakhani & Wolf, 2003) Why not increasing both types of motivation?
"Hidden costs of rewards" Increase of extrinsic motivations => Increase of the feeling of external control => decrease of intrinsic motivations Lepper & Greene, 1978
"Hidden costs of rewards" Increase of extrinsic motivations => Increase of the feeling of external control => decrease of intrinsic motivations Lepper & Greene, 1978/! hybrid communitiesIf some people are paid to contribute, the motivation ofthe other people may decrease.
Contributors come with various reasons. Taking care of intrinsic incentives seems to be a key to improve contributions. A good balance may be hard to reach: critical issue for open source business ecosystems.Conclusion: good communities aremotivation dealers.
3 open questionsHow to better understand the motivations ofFLOSS contributors?How motivations evolvealong the way?Can we extract someadvices for FLOSS communitymanagement?
Some referencesCommunautés de Logiciel Libre : écosystème des motivations, S. Heymann,2009 [PDF].The self perception of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, Calder B. & Straw B., inJournal of Personality and Social Psychology, n°31, pp.599-605, 1975.Intrinsic motivation in a new light, Lindenberg S., in Kylos, n°54 pp.317-342,2001.Le logiciel libre et la communauté autorégulée, Meyer M. & Montagne F., in Lescarnets du centre de philosophie du Droit, n°113, 2005.Intrinsic motivation and self-determination of behavior, Deci E. & Ryan R.,Plenum Press, New York, 1985.Linux Manifesto [online], 1998.Les motivations des développeurs dans l’Open Source Une revue de lalittérature, Jean-Jacques Gauguier, 2005 [PDF].Lakhani K. & Wolf R., Why hackers do what they do : Understanding motivationeffort in free/open source software projects, MIT Sloan School of Management(2003), no. 4425-03.
CreditsSlide 1: Chocolates, by J. Paxon Reyes, under CC by-nc 2.0.Slide 2: Screenshot of Gephi 0.7.Slide 6: Image from The Big Lebowski, 1998.Slide 9: Dude Vinci, by Colin Cotterill, from https://dudeism.com/.Slide 10, 11: Richard Stallman gives a talk on Free Software and Copyright lawat The University of Pittsburgh, by Victor Powell, under CC by-sa 3.0.Slide 10, 12: Linus Torvalds, Linuxmag.com, under CC by-sa 3.0.Slide 13: AllTheRageFaces.com.Slide 18: Focus Shift, 2008.Slide 28: Chocolate mocha, by Debbie R, under CC by-nc-nd 2.0.