An analysis of the social structure of remix culture
We present findings from our study of a music sharing and remixing community in an effort to quantify and understand the structural characteristics of commons-based peer production for products of aesthetic/cultural or entertainment value. We also provide a normative perspective on the strategies that such communities should employ with respect to the use of 'remixing contests', which are popular means of attracting new user-creators to the community and boosting its creative output. Until now research has shied away from the quantitative study of what lies at the heart of this 'remix culture', i.e. remixing, presumably because of the difficulties inherent in attaining relevant large datasets amenable to numerical analysis and an early focus of research efforts on communities whose products serve a more functional purpose (e.g., open source software), rather than aiming at entertainment or personal and artistic expression. This paper contributes to the literature of social network analysis of online communities, the literature on commons-based peer production, and the research agenda of cultural analytics.