Social Networking Sites, Innovation and the Patient as Peer - The Case of PatientsLikeMe
Paper i proceeding, 2016

Social Networking Sites (SNS) have started to shift from being used primarily for leisure and fun to have more serious purposes. One such more serious area is health and medicine, where lately several disease-specific communities of interest have established a presence on SNSs. In this exploratory paper, we study a health-related SNS called PatientsLikeMe, by using secondary, web-based qualitative data. By applying Benkler’s notion of Commons-Based Peer Production (CBPP) we approach PatientsLikeMe as an online participatory innovation platform in the realm of community based, open, distributed and collaborative innovation. We discuss how the features of social networking sites interplay with peer production in order to facilitate innovation. The paper contributes to the theory of CBPP by analyzing the different characteristics of PatientsLikeMe in relation to other examples from the literature.

Commons Based Peer production

Social Media

Open innovation

Social networking sites


Jan Ljungberg

Göteborgs universitet

Dick Stenmark

Göteborgs universitet

Fahd Omair Zaffar

Göteborgs universitet

European Academy of Management Conference (EURAM) 2016


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