Cyberchiefs : Autonomy and Authority in Online Tribes

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People are inventing new ways of working together on the internet. Decentralised production thrives on blogs, wikis and free software projects. Cyberchiefs focuses on the regulations of these working relationships. It examines the transformation of leadership and expertise in online networks, and the emergence of innovative forms of participatory politics.

What are the costs and benefits of alternatives to hierarchical organisation? Using case studies of online projects or 'tribes' such as the radical Primitivism archive, Daily Kos, the Debian free software project and Wikipedia, this book shows that leaders must support maximum autonomy for participants, and looks at the tensions generated by this distribution of authority.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 135 x 215 x 17.78mm | 317.51g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745327966
  • 9780745327969
  • 1,317,358

Table of contents




1. The Autonomy Imperative

2. The Distribution of Charisma

3. The Tyranny of Structure

4. The Grammar of Justice


5. The Last Online Tribe:

6. The Primary War:

7. The Imperfect Committee:

8. The Great Sock Hunt:

9. Online Tribal Bureaucracy


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Review quote

'Offers an important and relevant account of the innovations in forms of authority expressed by the social dynamics of Internet group formations' -- Tiziana Terranova, associate professor of Sociology of Communications and Cultural Studies at the University of Naples 'L'Orientale'and author of Network Culture: Politics for the Information Age (Pluto Press, 2004).
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About Mathieu O'Neil

Mathieu O'Neil is Adjunct Research Fellow at the Australian National University in the Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute, and Principal Researcher at Australia's Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. He has contributed articles to Le Monde Diplomatique and is the author of Cyberchiefs (Pluto, 2009).
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Rating details

10 ratings
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3 40% (4)
2 10% (1)
1 0% (0)
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