Building a maker community around an open hardware platform

Morreale, Fabio and Moro, Giulio and Chamberlain, Alan and Benford, Steve and McPherson, Andrew P. (2017) Building a maker community around an open hardware platform. In: ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 17), 6-11 May 2017, Denver, Colorado, USA.

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Abstract

This paper reflects on the dynamics and practices of building a maker community around a new hardware platform. We ex- amine the factors promoting the successful uptake of a maker platform from two perspectives: first, we investigate the tech- nical and user experience considerations that users identify as the most important. Second, we explore the specific activities that help attract a community and encourage sustained partici- pation. We present an inductive approach based on the case study of Bela, an embedded platform for creating interactive audio systems. The technical design and community building processes are detailed, culminating in a successful crowdfund- ing campaign. To further understand the community dynamics, the paper also presents an intensive three-day workshop with eight digital musical instrument designers. From observations and interviews, we reflect on the relationship between the platform and the community and offer suggestions for HCI researchers and practitioners interested in establishing their own maker communities.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords: Maker community, DIY, crowdfunding, embedded hardware, digital musical instruments, pluggable communities
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Science > School of Computer Science
Depositing User: Chamberlain, Dr Alan
Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2017 12:48
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2017 16:47
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/41912

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