I came across this interesting and easy to read paper on “limits of self organization”. It makes the following argument:
Web based per production is based on two assumptions, which the author calls “Laws of Quality”:
- “Linus’s Law”, in general, “the more people review a product, the better its quality”
- Evolution: "People just produce whatever they want; the good stuff spreads, and the bad gets ignored” (Graham, 2005).
However, the author argues that for collaborations aside of software for developers, the assumptions might lead to decreased quality. One particular problem is creating consistency across the units (Articles, Music Albums, Books…) which are prescribed by the project and platform.
The article also suggests that peer production projects “should reflect on the extent to which, explicitly or implicitly, they rely on the laws of quality [see above]. If they don’t, they should ask themselves what they do rely on.”
This is something I wondered about: Do we have any explicit assumptions why open source collaboration is good for design (If we assume so)?