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
"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
or via email (upon request) in approximately two months.