First, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Diana and I am an anthropologist currently in the midst of attaining my Masters degree in Applied Anthropology from the University of North Texas. As a part of my studies I will be working with Fedora, and hopefully many of you, to better understand the culture that surrounds open source software development.
As an applied anthropologist I want to stress that I will be doing research FOR and with the Fedora community not ON the Fedora community. My goal is to find ways to make your lives as open source developers better! And, if by some chance it can’t get any better than it already is, find out why it is so great so other open source groups can follow your lead.
My research methods will include participant observation, which means I will be hanging out with you all as you do what you do both in an online and offline context, interviews, and surveys. I will be using this blog as my major means of communication with everyone and as a way to make my research both open and transparent.
When my research concludes I will be providing the community with a report as to the findings of my explorative study so that everyone has access to them and can hopefully find ways to use them to your benefit.
As a side note for all anthropologists aspiring to do research online, I am documenting my entire process and will be providing a side report as my contribution to open anthropology.
For those of you who will be in Toronto for the developer conference in December, I will be there as well and will be providing a topic for discussion so that we can all get to know each other a bit better.
I want to stress that participation in this study is strictly voluntary! If for some reason you do not want to participate, or would like to speak to me in confidence, I will be more than happy to oblige.
You can contact me here by leaving a comment, or by emailing me Diana [@] cyber-anthro.com.
I look forward to working with all of you and to any feedback you may have, even this early in the process!