Cyberchiefs : Autonomy and Authority in Online Tribes
People are inventing new ways of working together on the internet. Decentralised production thrives on weblogs, wikis and free software projects. In Cyberchiefs, Mathieu O'Neil focuses on the regulations of these working relationships. He 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, the Daily Kos political weblog, the Debian free software project, and Wikipedia, O'Neil shows that leaders must support maximum autonomy for participants, and he analyses the tensions generated by this distribution of authority.
- Hardback | 224 pages
- 147.32 x 220.98 x 20.32mm | 362.87g
- 15 Apr 2009
- PLUTO PRESS
- London, United Kingdom
- 1 figure
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, Maniere de voir and Factsheet 5. He has also worked as a magazine editor and designer, as an editor on the collective New Media Art weblog Under the Sun, and has curated international digital art exhibitions.
Going against all easy celebrations of an Internet culture without authority or power structures, Cyberchiefs 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).
Table of contents
Acknowledgments Introduction PART I 1. The Autonomy Imperative 2. The Distribution of Charisma 3. The Tyranny of Structure 4. The Grammar of Justice PART II 5. The Last Online Tribe: primitivism.com 6. The Primary War: dailykos.com 7. The Imperfect Committee: debian.org 8. The Great Sock Hunt: wikipedia.org 9. Online Tribal Bureaucracy Notes Index