About Me

I am a scholar, technologist and activist. In all three roles, I am passionate about understanding why, and when peer production succeeds. As a social scientist, my research aims to explain why some attempts to create free culture and free software result in large volunteer communities like Wikipedia and Linux — while the vast majority never attract even a second contributor. For most of my life, I have also participated in a number of these communities. I spend most of my time consuming, and increasingly often producing, academic articles, software, blog posts, essays, books and talks.

You can follow my latest musings and projects on my weblog Copyrighteous. I microblog infrequently as @mako on identi.ca and as @makoshark on Twitter.

Organizations and Affiliations

My active affiliations include:

  • University of Washington: I am currently an Acting Assistant Professor in the University of Washington Department of Communication. It's an one year arrangement for the 2013-2014 year that means I'm effectively my own post-doc. In September 2014, I will stop acting and continue on in the department as a normal Assistant Professor. In addition to graduate and undergraduate teaching in the Department of Communication, I teach in the Communication Leadership graduate program. Details on my research and teaching are on my academic page.
  • Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Univeresity: Since Fall 2011, I am a Resident Fellow at Berkman. I am pursing my own research on collective action and online communities and have helped coordinated Berkman's cooperation group.
  • Free Software Foundation: In addition to being an Associate Member, I am a member of the FSF's Board of Directors. You can support my work at the foundation, and support the free software movement itself, by becoming an Associate Member yourself.
  • The Debian GNU/Linux Project: I am Debian Developer and maintain several packages and routinely sponsor the upload of several others. In the past, I have served on the Project Leader Team (AKA Project Scud) and acted as the Hardware Donations Manager (AKA Project Quartermaster) and Accountant tracking and managing funds and hardware internationally. My packaging work is documented here.
  • Ubuntu: I am a core developer an member of the Ubuntu project. For six years, I served on Ubuntu's Community Council governance board and help direct the Ubuntu Foundation. I was involved in issues related community, policy and governance and technical issues of internationalization, language support, and non-Latin text rendering and input. During the Ubuntu project's first year, I worked for Canonical Ltd. doing Free Software activism and advocacy and helping build user and developer communities around the distribution.
  • Wikimedia/Wikipedia: I am an active contributor to several Wikimedia projects where I add content and edit frequently. These include:

  • Definition of Free Cultural Works: Along with Erik Moeller from the Wikimedia Foundation, I founded this project to work with the free culture community to help provide a set of explicit goals to help the free culture movement development, inspire, and grow.

Please see my Additional Affiliations Page for a list of my old, dormant, minor, and more advisory affiliations.

Other Webpages

  • Revealing Errors: A weblog where I try to reveal the power and influence that technology has on our lives by unpacking and analyzing errors that reveal the frequently hidden technological systems around us.
  • Wikipedia User Page: My "user page" is similar to a homepage but it's in more flux (it's a wiki after all) and tends to focus on items that are interesting to me in Wikipedia.
  • My Kuro5hin diary which is lots of short little descriptions of ideas I have. It's a lot less serious, useful (and hopefully) boring than the site you're reading right now. (no longer updated)
  • My Advogato Page where I used to keep a (very infrequently updated) diary of my work on free software projects. (no longer updated)
  • GPG Keys for use in secure communication with me.

Contact Information



Visit my contact information page for information on how to reach me via snailmail, phone, email, IRC, or several flavors of instant messaging.