Digital DIY – what in our Project we call DiDIY – is clearly a phenomenon in which individuals play a pivotal role: but who are them? what can we say about their objective (age, gender, occupation, country, etc) and subjective (motivations, skills, etc) features?
In the last days I attended two political events, where I had been invited to give talks on the innovation related to and triggered by digital manufacturing. In both cases my presentation emphasized that a significant novelty of what is happening is that the (possibly) forthcoming industrial revolution has (also) bottom-up drivers (the example of Raspberry Pi Zero, a computer priced 5 euros, impressed the audiences), and that the Digital Do It Yourself phenomenon is an excellent case of this.
In our Knowledge Framework, in which DiDIY is intended as a specific case of DIY, we propose to interpret DiDIY as a twofold phenomenon, both (subjective) mindset and (objective) activity. Neither of these dimensions is ethically neutral: for example, doing something by her/himself might lead someone to further appreciate the value of knowledge sharing but also to become more selfish.
by Giuseppe Catalfamo, Luca Colombo, Luca Mari: LIUC
While the term “digital do it yourself” has been proposed by ourselves – and we call it DiDIY for short –, the concept is surely not new. But what is the social perception of DiDIY? The answer is not obvious. For example, recently I had a conversation with a social scientist about the basics of our Project who, in replying to my hypothesis on the growing importance of collaboration in DiDIY, started emphasizing “the selfishness of DiDIYers”. And observing my surprise, he noted: “Well, DiDIY is about self service, isn’t it?”. No, DiDIY is not about self service.
Around the table of our multidisciplinary research group we are convinced that Digital Do It Yourself (we call it “DiDIY” for short, and this is also the name of our Project) is not only an interesting phenomenon to study but also a social opportunity to reshape ways to active citizenship.