As with any research Nadia Eghbal shares, this is a deep dive into understanding the user support systems present in today’s open source. It’s very detailed, highly researched, and more importantly it’s actionable.
Here’s a sample of Nadia’s closing remarks:
I barely scratched the surface on user support systems: there’s a gold mine of data waiting to be played with. I’d love to see more research on how support communities form and maintain themselves (particularly Stack Overflow, mailing lists, forums, and synchronous chat).
Why do some have only one or two answerers, while others have many? Does the growth of these communities mirror that of the code contributor community? Implicitly, a deeper understanding of support communities would help validate the growth model and hub-and-spokes model presented above.