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Rice University Study Queries Linux Community

Apr 17, 2002, 03:00 (14 Talkback[s])


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Utpal (Paul) Dholakia, an Assistant Professor of Management at the Jones School of Management at Rice University in Houston, Texas, is "conducting an academic research project, studying social interactions online more generally, and specifically how communities organized around products or brands are formed, from a sociological perspective."

"In this regard, we are conducting a survey of people who belong to Internet-based Linux groups such as mailing lists, websites etc. seeking information on different elements of their thoughts, feelings, and motivations of participating in such groups, and the value of the group to them," Dholakia explained.

Dholakia emphasized that the survey is targeted especially at those individuals who interact with the more-or-less same group of individuals online within the mailing list or on some other online forum (more generally). That is, those who have online friends that they interact with regularly.

"Of course, our research is strictly academic, and has no commercial links or interests whatsoever. We hope to publish this research in a sociology journal," Dholakia said. "As a small token of our appreciation for participants' time, and in the spirit of the philosophy underlying the open-source movement, we will donate a total of $500 to the five favorite organizations/ groups of our participants' choice (we ask the participant's to nominate their favorite groups in the survey)."

The findings of the study will be freely available from Dholakia's website or via email (upon request) in approximately two months.

Survey Site