AM08 2008 START Conference Manager    

Modes of Technical Support in Open Source Software Peer to Peer Digital Knowledge Creation, Sharing and Re-Use

Vandana Singh

ASIS&T 2008 Annual Meeting (AM08 2008)
Columbus, Ohio, October 24-29, 2008


This project investigates the different modes of technical support available for the users of Open Source Software (OSS) and evaluates them for usability, effectiveness and potential re-use. Multiple digital channels of communication exist that are being used in the communities of Open Source Software for digitally creating, sharing and re-using knowledge. There has never been a study that identifies the different mediums of communication that are being used for providing technical support to the users of OSS. The absence of professionally organized technical support for OSS is one of the most common deterrents in the adoption of OSS. In this study a survey was conducted to identify different modes of communication for technical support and these different modes of communication were evaluated for usability, their effectiveness in solving the technical problems and the potential for re-use for the benefits of the larger community of users. This research also will present prototypes of these communication channels based on the results and usability standards. Eventually, the work from this project will feed into a larger future project of development of a knowledge management system for the technical support of Open Source Software.

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