The cost of collaboration for code and art: Evidence from a remixing community

Benjamin Mako Hill, Andrés Monroy-Hernández

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this paper, we use evidence from a remixing community to evaluate two pieces of common wisdom about collaboration. First, we test the theory that jointly produced works tend to be of higher quality than individually authored products. Second, we test the theory that collaboration improves the quality of functional works like code, but that it works less well for artistic works like images and sounds. We use data from Scratch, a large online community where hundreds of thousands of young users share and remix millions of animations and interactive games. Using peer-ratings as a measure of quality, we estimate a series of fitted regression models and find that collaborative Scratch projects tend to receive ratings that are lower than individually authored works. We also find that code-intensive collaborations are rated higher than media-intensive efforts. We conclude by discussing the limitations and implications of these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCSCW 2013 - Proceedings of the 2013 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work
Pages1035-1045
Number of pages11
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event2013 2nd ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW 2013 - San Antonio, TX, United States
Duration: Feb 23 2013Feb 27 2013

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW

Conference

Conference2013 2nd ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Antonio, TX
Period2/23/132/27/13

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications

Keywords

  • Computer mediated communication
  • Computers and children
  • Creativity support tools
  • Online communities
  • Remixing
  • Social computing and social navigation

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