Note: I understand this is very long, but be sure to read and understanding everything in this post.
Alright! Day 6 into the beta, and we're about to introduce a new addition to the scope!
The issue of neutrality has been big since the definition phase of this site. Conflicts and arguments over the inclusion of Free Software in the site name would spark nearly everywhere you can go. It seems as if it has provoked the departure of valuable members of the community.
The answer was clear, if the community wanted to foster a healthy site that is accepting and inclusive of all organizations and ideologies, we need to start by creating a neutral environment for them to grow. Being called Open Source, we were already sending a message that this site will mostly be of Open Source, and not much else.
Many community members realized this, and set off to figure out how to develop the site, neutrally. We needed a way to help create a neutral environment, from one that has since been hurt by political biases. Therefore, we asked questions. Our possible affiliations with organizations had to be stopped, or we needed to invite all.
Keep in mind too, however, that this is still a draft. We can still tailor it with input from the community, community managers, moderators from other related sites and so on.
We took a look at our existing scope, and tried to find what was in common. Each element seemed to have a goal, to make information accessible to all. The ideologies all pointed towards this common goal. We decided to "redesign" the site around this.
Before we started, we tried to find things that were possibly detrimental to neutral site development. We found things such as:
- The site name
- Relations with organizations
and so on.
With a common goal, we decided to recreate this scope, possibly including or excluding elements that we would've had. With the main idea of having information accessible to all, we started.
First off, was finding alternate names that gave a message about what the site was trying to achieve, and what we want in this site. We thought of names such as:
- Open Info (or Open Information)
- Ask Freely
We decided with the former, Open Info. We thought that this would convey the message that we wanted to give: to provide information that is easy to access to the world, and make it open. Next, was re-evaluating the scope:
You can ask about... Boldfaced and italicized is new.
- Anything related to Free/Libre and Open Source Projects
- Anything related to Creative Commons and Free Cultural Works
- Anything related to the Open Knowledge Movement and Open Data
- Anything related to the organization, management and marketing of open projects
- Anything related to the Open Definiton, and efforts to make information free and accessible to all
(stuff about licensing, marketing, financing, management and philosophy)
Don't ask about...
- Anything primarily related to Law
- Anything primarily related to Open Science
- Anything asking for tools or resources for Open Data
- Anything too broad, or primarily opinion based
We want to create an open information atmosphere, accepting things on open information.
In order to help smooth the transition and addition of this to the site, we thought of some example questions:
- How can I trust Wikipedia if everyone can change it?
- What is Open Knowledge? How does it differ from Open Data?
- What is the Open Definition?
- How important is transparency of open projects?
- Do I need to offer [this] in other languages to make it accessible?
- Does the public have more say in open knowledge?
- What’s the purpose of Open Data when I can just Google things?
- Is open data harmful to competition between for-profit companies?
- Is open data harmful to innovation?
Bottom line, these are the points to our proposal:
- Change the name of the site to Open Information (or Open Info short form)
- Broaden the scope to include open information concepts (boldfaced and italicized above)
We've tried hard to make the site more appropriate on what we want, created a general goal, and set out a plan to make the site friendly, welcoming and inviting to all communities. If you have any disagreements, or would like to see something change, kindly post an answer! We'd love to here your thoughts, and suggestions! If there's anything you've think that we've missed, let us know as well!
- Some were concerned that this new scope would be duplicating the site Open Data.SE. I'm aware of this, and I would like to show how we're not duplicating the site:
From the Open Data Help Center:
If you have a question about …
- where to find any kind of open data
- software tools related to open data
- best practices regarding open data
- licensing and releasing open data
- open data formats and standards
- linked data, ontologies and related semantic technologies
- analysis and visualization of open data … then you're in the right place!
Data requests ("Where can I find data about … ?") are usually welcome for any topic. For more in-depth questions, there are several related expert sites available:
Some things will overlap, but Open Data looks like Software Recommendations, in that you can ask for locations of data, tools, resources, and technologies. We differ in that we would ask for organization, philosophies and so on...