[okfn-discuss] Our vision: Why, How and What for the Open Knowledge Foundation
luis.villa at gmail.com
Tue Jul 14 14:38:04 BST 2009
On Tue, Jul 14, 2009 at 9:08 AM, Rufus Pollock<rufus.pollock at okfn.org> wrote:
> Five years on from the Foundation's start, now is a good time to have
> a discussion of what the next 5 years (and beyond) of the Open
> Knowledge Foundation should be.
> I've started some notes here: <http://wiki.okfn.org/Vision> and to get
> the ball rolling here are some specific questions I'd love to hear
> people's views on:
> * What do you think the Open Knowledge Foundation is?
> * What do you think it should be doing?
> * What impact should it be having?
> Look forward to hearing what people think ...
OKF has, as I see it, three issues:
1) what is OKF's motivation and philosophy? In other words, why are we
promoting open? Is it just a fuzzy sense that open is good, or can we
get more specific? The 'about' page defines open, but doesn't say why
open is a good thing. I think having some clear sense of that would
help clarify a lot around what it is, where it is going, etc. (This
may be written down somewhere, and if so, I apologize, but it seems
worth putting front and center either way.)
2) there are a variety of organizations similar to OKF out there now-
CC is the highest profile, but we can all probably list a few others
that have more or less overlap with what CC does, like resource.org,
openlibrary.org, etc. How is OKF distinguishing itself? Is it merely
better at executing on what it does, or is there some organizational
or philosophical differences that make us stand out? If so, focusing
on those differences may make good strategic sense.
3) How is OKF preparing for the day when open 'wins'? The Open Source
Initiative, ten years in, is now horribly floundering because, in some
sense, they've won- open source is not dominant, but it is broadly
accepted as part of the tool kit of software developers. Much of what
used to be important/controversial for them (license approval,
primarily) is now routine and uninteresting, and they have no other
sense of what they should be doing. It would be good if OKF starting
thinking now about 'what happens when open knowledge is routine',
because I think we're already edging in that direction- we're seeing
it in the slow proliferation of licenses, slow proliferation of groups
in the space, etc. Does OKF then just fade away? Become a data
repository? Become a source of licenses? a source of license
proliferation? a government lobbying group, pushing for more open data
'at the margins'?
Hope this helps spark some discussion-
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