© 2018


User Creativity at the Intersection of Commerce and Community


Part of the Dynamics of Virtual Work book series (DVW)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Shenja van der Graaf
    Pages 1-28
  3. Shenja van der Graaf
    Pages 29-63
  4. Shenja van der Graaf
    Pages 65-90
  5. Shenja van der Graaf
    Pages 91-112
  6. Shenja van der Graaf
    Pages 143-162
  7. Shenja van der Graaf
    Pages 163-177
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 179-182

About this book


This book critically analyses user-firm technology relationships and socioeconomic structures at the crossroads of community and commerce. It investigates businesses that let users participate in platform development on the internet. An empirical study of the online world Second Life is used as an early illustration of the pivotal role of user participation in design, development and sustainability of digital platforms.

Van der Graaf sheds light on aspects of the ongoing platformization of the internet and on new norms and mechanisms for user participation which are linked to values of creativity, community and labour. ComMODify makes clear that robust theoretical and empirical investigation of the integration of user participation into mainstream business models and its implications for platform development is key to understanding contemporary businesses like Facebook, that sustain the internet of today.

This book will be of interest to those wanting to learn more about the socio-economic implications of user participation associated with user-generated content, particularly within the 3D software and game industry.


participatory turn web tools creative and collaborative practices online platforms digital technologies the internet learning by design mod development and commerce mod development and community commodification of mod development

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Senior Researcher at imec-SMITVrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselsBelgium

About the authors

Shenja van der Graaf is a Senior Researcher at imec-SMIT, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium.

Bibliographic information


“This is a timely book, offering an empirically based and theoretically rich, critical approach to the role of platform development and user participation in the current ecosystem where platforms occupy a central role in the socioeconomic structure of media and communications, and where algorithms increasingly govern the organization of content. … It is therefore a valuable contribution for those, from media and sociology as well as economy … .” (Ana Jorge, Observatorio OBS, 2018)​