Open e-culture

    22 november 2011

    Dit artikel verscheen eerder op de website van de State of Social Media Summit

    Last friday, August 9th, we hosted in association with Creative Commons a conversation on open e-culture and the challenges for the near future. The participants shared their valuable knowledge based on a wide variety of experiences as Digital Pioneer, activist, policy-advisor, social entrepreneur and the like. The discussion resulted in fundamental and urgent questions that reach the heart of our contemporary social system. In fact, the posibilities of the state of communication technology today confronts us with dilemmas regarding law & policy, economic logic and social organisation.

    In this first of three blogs a short introduction of the several open initiatives in the Netherlands. 

    A wide variety of initiatives can affiliate with the word, or concept, ‘Open’. A general interpretation seems to be the strive for free and public sharing of information, open communication and cooperation. Many interesting initiatives working on those themes have sprouted the last couple of years. These projects can be roughly divided in those who work on art & culture and those who work on open public information and knowledge.

    Art & Culture
    Considering the creativity and innovativity of the Art & Culture scene, this seems to be a context par excellence to experiment with open initatives. Not surpisingly, some striking projects have been founded in that segment. In art & culture several issues seem to be of relevance. Such as the disclosure and sharing of artistic expressions. Take for example the Ipoetry project by poeziecircus that archives and presents every performance of poets during their events, or wormweb that programmes cutting edge soundart and music neglected by mainstream media. These initiatives try to bring certain forms of culture to the public and try to facilitate the related community. An endeavour that would be much more difficult, if not impossible, without such online platforms.

    Other initiatives such as simuze, blender, open margin and NARB actively try to connect producers with producers, consumers with consumers or producers with consumers. Simuze is a community for music producers and consumers that tries to offer an alternative for the industry, blender connects 3d animators to work on collective projects, open margin is a visionary tool to connect readers of e-books by facilitating communication via the ‘margins’ of the books and NARB connects vistors of museums by facilitating the exchange of their comments on certain exibitions.

    Open public information and knowledge
    A second cluster of initiatives is active in Open public information and knowledge. They may function mainly as a platform to collect and present particular forms of knowledge and information publicly. However, in most instances they have social-political arguments to provide information and knowledge which, in the contemporary economic system, is often perceived as a commodity. Whereas big companies would attach commercial intentions to particular services these initiatives try to provide it as ‘common good’ (in fact, similarly to most cultural and artistic initiatives mentioned above). A slightly diffrent issue, base don similar principles, may be the transparancy of information by (governmental) institutions.

    Concrete examples in this context are open street maps, open search, and, of course, wikimedia. All initiatives that try to build up and share knowledge free and publicly. Another interesting endeavour is Floss Manuals a website that shares manuals to use open source software and facilitates exchange of information about the use of open source software. Or, the Woberator a mixed-media manual for the appliance of the Government Information act (Wet openbaarheid van bestuur: WOB).

    Altogether, interesting and relevant forms of researching the possibilities of the free and open exchange of culture and knowledge. Moreover, all of these initiatives use open source standards and/or creative commons licencing.

    So far for this short introduction on Open e-culture initiatives. The next blog will be about the challenges perceived by the movement of open e-culture entrepreneurs. 

    Deze tekst heeft een Creative Commons Naamsvermelding-licentie (CC BY) en is gekopieerd van de Kennisland-website. Ga voor de volledige versie met afbeeldingen, streamers en noten naar

    This text has a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) and has been copied from the Kennisland website. For a full version with images, streamers and notes go to