How Hardwareʼs Long Tail is Supporting New Engineering and Design Communities

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* Article: LilyPad in the Wild: How Hardwareʼs Long Tail is Supporting New Engineering and Design Communities. By Leah Buechley and Benjamin Mako Hill.

URL = http://hlt.media.mit.edu/publications/buechley_DIS_10.pdf

Commentary via http://mako.cc/copyrighteous/20101001-00 ('on feminism and microcontrollers')


ABSTRACT

"This paper examines the distribution, adoption, and evolution of an open-source toolkit we developed called the LilyPad Arduino. We track the two-year history of the kit and its user community from the time the kit was commercially introduced, in October of 2007, to November of 2009. Using sales data, publicly available project documentation and surveys, we explore the relationship between the LilyPad and its adopters. We investigate the community of developers who has adopted the kit—paying special attention to gender—explore what people are building with it, describe how user feedback impacted the development of the kit and examine how and why people are contributing their own LilyPad-inspired tools back to the community. What emerges is a portrait of a new technology and a new engineering/design community in coevolution."