Davide Vega D'Aurelio

Motivating the non-technical participation in technical communities

Technical communities are social structures that emerge around the interest of individuals to build and deploy their own technology or communication infrastructure, such as wireless community networks. In these communities, the access to shared resources is regulated by incentive mechanisms, which are usually based on the members’ contributions. Typically, technical contributions are computed by these mechanisms, ignoring the non-technical activities that members voluntarily perform to keep the community alive, e.g., administration and coordination of the tasks performed by the sub-communities. This article presents a regulation mechanism that rewards not only the contribution of shared resources to the community, but also the participation of the community members in non- technical activities. This proposal was evaluated using simulations, and the obtained results allow researchers and managers of technical communities to build appropriate incentive mechanisms that rewards both, technical and non- technical contributions of their members.