How Much Are Digital Platforms Based on Open Collaboration?: An Analysis of Technological and Knowledge Practices and Their Implications for the Platform Governance of a Sample of 100 Cases of Collaborative Digital Platforms in Barcelona
From the early cases of FLOSS and Wikipedia, the digital collaborative model of production and consumption has rapidly expanded to other spheres. This article explores to what extent this expansion has maintained the open character of the initial model, specifically the extent to which platform projects follow an open collaborative approach in their technological and knowledge policies and practices, and if this is also reflected in an open approach to governance. The empirical analysis is based on a sample of 100 cases in Barcelona. On the basis of this analysis, we conclude that open modalities of collaborative digital platforms are not prevalent. Around a third of the sample present open modalities of the dimensions analyzed. Different areas (technological, knowledge, or governance) showed different levels of diffusion of open practices. The cases which tended to be open in one dimension also tended to be open in the other dimensions. That is, the analysis points to a correlation between technological, data, and knowledge policies and open and democratic collaborative economy models. These results suggest the importance of open technology and knowledge in adopting an open and democratic collaborative model.