What I’m Up To

It’s been a year or so since I last reported what I was up to in my "day job." The last year has been a productive, if sometimes schizophrenic, period.

I’ve had a good time working with Eric von Hippel (innovation and free and open source software research guru) and have decided I’d like to do a bit more of that.

So I’m taking classes again — mostly sociological methods courses — to try to learn a bit about becoming a social scientist. To do so, I’ve enrolled in the Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship PhD program at the MIT Sloan School of Management and am working on putting together an interdisciplinary — probably even interdepartmental — research program. My basic research questions remain the ones that have motivated all my work: How can I get a better understanding of communities producing free stuff? How can I help those communities do so more effectively?

MIT has a large number of people who share these goals and interests. Who knows, if I can put together enough of them and an academically rigorous research proposal that will provide a real benefit to the free software and free culture communities I care about, I might even manage to get a degree out of it!

I’ll also be staying on as a fellow at the MIT Center for Future Civic Media where I’ll continue to maintain and expand Selectricity, work on Revealing Errors, and more.

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Benjamin Mako Hill

Rebel with rather too many causes. And your host!

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