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The Next Cultural Commons

How the Internet has been quietly assembling the next cultural canon

 Classic Works

  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • The Wealth of Nations
  • Beowolf

 The New Classics

  • Ruby
  • WordPress
  • Bootstrap

 Open Source Rules Everything Around Me

  • Powers the Internet
    (75% of top 10k)
  • Powers our democracy
    (Egypt, Project Open Data)

 What If We Lost All This

  • Bootstrap (50k)
  • Homebrew (12k)
  • Rails (18k)
  • html5-boilerplate (20k)
  • jQuery (20k)
  • Node (22k)
  • Backbone (14k), D3 (15k)
  • Linux (8k)
  • CodeIgniter, Symfony, Django (17k)
  • Foundation (11k)

 GitHub By The Numbers

  • 3.4M+ collaborators
  • 6.6M+ Projects
  • Largest code commons in the world
  • ~25 active federal agencies

 On The Average Day At…

  • 140GB of new data is pushed
  • 125k repositories are updated
  • 10k people push their very first repository to
  • 25k repositories are created
  • 7k pull requests are created
  • 10k people join

GitHub Activity

New Projects

Open Sourced Projects

Forked Projects


  • Tracks who made what change when
  • Distributed, everyone has a complete copy
  • Open source, open standards
  • Efficient, compression baked in
  • Cryptographic authentication of history

 Challenges And Next Steps

  • Storage Space
  • Frequency of changes
  • Original v. forks
  • Public v. private
  • Social layer