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HiS #16: Managing Over-Participation

Is more (information, people, code) always better?

If anyone is interested in open source and even more broadly the future of how we communicate and maintain online communities, I would recommend getting this book: "Working in Public". Nadia is one of the most insightful people we've had the privilege to have in our community (and beyond) the last few years. Had a chance to just chat about the book and related ideas. Check out the transcript!


To me, the book is sort of the combination of the last five years or so that I've spent looking at open source projects and communities. Some of which we explored even together on this podcast. But trying to make sense of an observation, I kind of been having over the course of that exploration. Just looking at the idea that we talk about open source being this thing where everyone is in.. anyone can participate, in an open source project.

Nadia Eghbal joins Henry to chat about her new book, Working in Public: The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software, a deep-dive into the of open source community and how it may paint a picture of online communities in general. They talk about her 2x2 model of communities, the public web (Twitter) to private groups (group chat), the turn to individual creators, and the importance of moderation and boundaries.



  • Five Years Looking At Open Source Communities
  • Our Common Wisdom Encourages Participation But..
  • Pushing Back on the Definition of Participation
  • 2x2 of Contributor/User Growth
  • Victims of Success
  • It's a Good Problem, Let's Adapt to Changing CircLiberalism and "Don't Read the Comments"
  • Questioning Hypotheses and Norms
  • Salvation By Maintanance
  • Welcoming Communities, Seeker Friendly Churches
  • The Importance of Moderation: Saying No
  • Inversion of Authority
  • Whose Responsibility? Platforms?
  • GitHub Isn't a Creator Based Economy, Yet
  • Open Source and Content Creation
  • Maintenance is Inherently Not Top of Mind?
  • Modes of Production: Niche and Growth
  • Beyond Zoom: Designing For Conversation
  • Cozyroom
  • Tools Vs. Apps: The Tyranny of Grids
  • Simulating Walking Through a Park
  • Digital Fidgeting Through Removing Video
  • Focusing Through Distraction?
  • Shaping to Future of The Social Web
  • Creating the Suburbs of the Internet
  • The Beautiful Dance of Norms

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