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Opening Knowledge Requires Diversity

- August 17, 2014 in Diversity, Featured, Reflections, Twitter


13% of Americans hablan español en casa; half of those folks speak English “very well.” I have heard the second fact used as an excuse not to tweet, blog, and otherwise communicate in Spanish, but when you do the math, that would ignore more than 20 million Americans, up to 40 million depending on the context. I have also heard the excuse of not being located in an area where Spanish speakers live. Where, exactly are the tens of millions of Americans who speak Spanish at home? Everywhere:
Americans who speak Spanish at home, map and data via the Census Bureau.

Americans who speak Spanish at home, map and data via the Census Bureau.

As a result, I have made a special effort to connect with Spanish speakers at @OKFNUS on Twitter. How are we doing?
@OKFNUS Followers' Languages, 20140819Not bad. Here in August 2014, more than 100 of our 1650 Twitter followers have set their official language to Spanish, a strict test for whether they are Spanish speakers. The percentage who speak Spanish is undoubtedly higher than 6.6%, but to know for sure would be difficult, for example we might text mine our followers’ tweets. Not bad, but I am confident we can do better with a larger, more diverse team of Ambassadors. Diversity must also be a core value in our future national chapter for Open Knowledge in the US.
Ivan Fernando Gonzalez introduces the panel at ScienceOnline Seattle: "Engaging the Invisible Americans: Science communication for Spanish-speaking audiences"

Ivan Fernando Gonzalez introduces the panel at “Engaging the Invisible Americans: Science communication for Spanish speaking audiences”

Recently in my work in Open Science, I had an idea for a panel discussion on engaging Spanish speakers in the US. I could have led the event, but instead I gave the idea to an Hispanic colleague who is fluent in Spanish. He organized and moderated a much more insightful and effective discussion than I had imagined. As a next step, we should recruit at least one fluent Spanish speaker as an Open Knowledge Ambassador in the US. Language and the cultures inherent can be a significant barrier to opening knowledge, one which partnership is essential to resolving. Reaching Spanish speakers is just one of our many needs for greater diversity. First of all, Americans speak many languages beyond English and Spanish. Where I live in Seattle, government documents and services are available in Burmese, Cambodian, Chinese, English, Korean, Laotian, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Tigrigna, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, and sometimes more. Most of the people in Seattle are from somewhere else, and the next generation is even more diverse. Students in Seattle public schools are native speakers of 120 languages, and there are 47 languages in which at least one class is taught. The prominence of specific languages and cultures varies significantly across a country of our size. Seattle may be more diverse than many cities, but being officially multilingual is not the exception in America. It is typical for our cities and states to offer documents and services in multiple languages. That’s good and open governance. As activists for Open Knowledge, we must aspire to be more open than the government and society we mean to improve. In a country like the US, where openness has already had so much success, the standards for being more open are then very high. Not only that, but our Open Knowledge US Ambassadors lack diversity in many aspects, beyond language. To mention just a few: we lack for women Ambassadors entirely, we are distributed geographically but we are too few for a country of this size, and there are many aspects of, or disciplines within Open Knowledge for which we lack a dedicated Ambassador.
Open Knowledge as a multimensional spectrum: multidimensional (nD) correlation plots result by displaying Open with respect to n variables. Just kidding.

Open as a multimensional spectrum: multidimensional (nD) correlation plots result by displaying Open with respect to n variables. Just kidding.

I cannot say when we will have 100 Ambassadors who speak 100 languages, but take heart. “Open” is not something one is or is not. I have said before that Open is a spectrum; if that is a good metaphor, then Open is a highly multidimensional spectrum. Open is an ideal to which we aspire. This is not exactly the official Open Knowledge line, after all we have an official Open Definition and in cases such as policy it is important to define Open. But my personal take is: be less concerned with whether knowledge is open, and more concerned with how it can be more open. And keep opening it. As from Wendell Berry’s essay on What are People For?

“Seeing the work that is to be done, who can help wanting to be the one to do it?”

Opening Knowledge Requires Diversity

- August 17, 2014 in Diversity, Featured, Reflections, Twitter


13% of Americans hablan español en casa; half of those folks speak English “very well.” I have heard the second fact used as an excuse not to tweet, blog, and otherwise communicate in Spanish, but when you do the math, that would ignore more than 20 million Americans, up to 40 million depending on the context. I have also heard the excuse of not being located in an area where Spanish speakers live. Where, exactly are the tens of millions of Americans who speak Spanish at home? Everywhere:
Americans who speak Spanish at home, map and data via the Census Bureau.

Americans who speak Spanish at home, map and data via the Census Bureau.

As a result, I have made a special effort to connect with Spanish speakers at @OKFNUS on Twitter. How are we doing?
@OKFNUS Followers' Languages, 20140819Not bad. Here in August 2014, more than 100 of our 1650 Twitter followers have set their official language to Spanish, a strict test for whether they are Spanish speakers. The percentage who speak Spanish is undoubtedly higher than 6.6%, but to know for sure would be difficult, for example we might text mine our followers’ tweets. Not bad, but I am confident we can do better with a larger, more diverse team of Ambassadors. Diversity must also be a core value in our future national chapter for Open Knowledge in the US.
Ivan Fernando Gonzalez introduces the panel at ScienceOnline Seattle: "Engaging the Invisible Americans: Science communication for Spanish-speaking audiences"

Ivan Fernando Gonzalez introduces the panel at “Engaging the Invisible Americans: Science communication for Spanish speaking audiences”

Recently in my work in Open Science, I had an idea for a panel discussion on engaging Spanish speakers in the US. I could have led the event, but instead I gave the idea to an Hispanic colleague who is fluent in Spanish. He organized and moderated a much more insightful and effective discussion than I had imagined. As a next step, we should recruit at least one fluent Spanish speaker as an Open Knowledge Ambassador in the US. Language and the cultures inherent can be a significant barrier to opening knowledge, one which partnership is essential to resolving. Reaching Spanish speakers is just one of our many needs for greater diversity. First of all, Americans speak many languages beyond English and Spanish. Where I live in Seattle, government documents and services are available in Burmese, Cambodian, Chinese, English, Korean, Laotian, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Tigrigna, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, and sometimes more. Most of the people in Seattle are from somewhere else, and the next generation is even more diverse. Students in Seattle public schools are native speakers of 120 languages, and there are 47 languages in which at least one class is taught. The prominence of specific languages and cultures varies significantly across a country of our size. Seattle may be more diverse than many cities, but being officially multilingual is not the exception in America. It is typical for our cities and states to offer documents and services in multiple languages. That’s good and open governance. As activists for Open Knowledge, we must aspire to be more open than the government and society we mean to improve. In a country like the US, where openness has already had so much success, the standards for being more open are then very high. Not only that, but our Open Knowledge US Ambassadors lack diversity in many aspects, beyond language. To mention just a few: we lack for women Ambassadors entirely, we are distributed geographically but we are too few for a country of this size, and there are many aspects of, or disciplines within Open Knowledge for which we lack a dedicated Ambassador.
Open Knowledge as a multimensional spectrum: multidimensional (nD) correlation plots result by displaying Open with respect to n variables. Just kidding.

Open as a multimensional spectrum: multidimensional (nD) correlation plots result by displaying Open with respect to n variables. Just kidding.

I cannot say when we will have 100 Ambassadors who speak 100 languages, but take heart. “Open” is not something one is or is not. I have said before that Open is a spectrum; if that is a good metaphor, then Open is a highly multidimensional spectrum. Open is an ideal to which we aspire. This is not exactly the official Open Knowledge line, after all we have an official Open Definition and in cases such as policy it is important to define Open. But my personal take is: be less concerned with whether knowledge is open, and more concerned with how it can be more open. And keep opening it. As from Wendell Berry’s essay on What are People For?

“Seeing the work that is to be done, who can help wanting to be the one to do it?”

Updates from @OKFNUS on Twitter

- January 9, 2014 in Twitter

The following, one minute of 2013 highlights at @OKFNUS on Twitter gives a glimpse at our 1500+ tweets posted and 750+ friends made.
That’s OKF NYC Ambassador @LaneRasberry on the right side of the cover shot, quoted saying “Wikipedia is what the world is reading” at #WikiNLM at the NIH, May 29 2013. The video features three with whom we interacted most — @OKCon, @openscience, and above all @OKFN, and three hashtags we hit most — #openscience, #opengov, and most of all #opendata. Also featured are a few representative tweets, but do note that our range includes #openGLAM, open access scientific publishing and Wikipedia, open source software and hardware and hackathons, data driven journalism, open education, the public domain, and still more. We cover everything @OKFN do, just with an American eye and more US-based content.
tweets about the @OKFNUS NYC list from 20131115

an @OKFNUS spin-off project

I had remixed source video from https://www.vizify.com/okfnus back in December, and polished it this week with some public domain media. To give the video a good home, I created a YouTube Channel, a Google account (okfnus@gmail) to eventually share management of the channel with my OKF colleagues in the US, and a Google+ Page. I had created the account in November 2012, but only started tweeting around June 2013, so 2014 will be better! One of the spin-off projects I began at @OKFNUS was a Twitter list for NYC area accounts. I started with 30 accounts in November and it is now over 40, see the full list and back story at http://pad.okfn.org/p/twitternyc. As in my tweet shown here, I would like that on a map, with open data, and for all cities… to be hacked upon at a hackathon?
gfx for @OKFNUS

graphic art for @OKFNUS

There are many moving parts in setting oneself up for what the pros call ‘cross channel marketing’, in social media and in concert with our web site. Creating graphic art, placing and editing code embeds, writing copy, linking each to the others; it has taken me over a week of spare time to weave the web at YouTube, Google+, et al. Next steps include meeting with my fellow account managers, and perhaps setting up an editorial calendar or divvying up responsibilities. I’ve been the only hand at the @OKFNUS till, but not for much longer! A key goal in setting out was to be a steady, dependable and growing voice for OKF in the US. I publish a minimum five tweets every day and eight on average, evenly spaced across the six or seven hours of American timezones, regional interest tweets timed appropriately. I had last posted about our activity on Twitter when sending the 1,000th tweet. At the time, we had just over 500 followers. As I sent our 1,500th tweet, we had just over 750 followers. On the numbers at least, I’m steadily hitting my marks. The voice of OKF in the US is about to become more of a chorus. I look forward to sharing the accounts with my fellow US Ambassadors!

Updates from @OKFNUS on Twitter

- January 9, 2014 in Twitter

The following, one minute of 2013 highlights at @OKFNUS on Twitter gives a glimpse at our 1500+ tweets posted and 750+ friends made.
That’s OKF NYC Ambassador @LaneRasberry on the right side of the cover shot, quoted saying “Wikipedia is what the world is reading” at #WikiNLM at the NIH, May 29 2013. The video features three with whom we interacted most — @OKCon, @openscience, and above all @OKFN, and three hashtags we hit most — #openscience, #opengov, and most of all #opendata. Also featured are a few representative tweets, but do note that our range includes #openGLAM, open access scientific publishing and Wikipedia, open source software and hardware and hackathons, data driven journalism, open education, the public domain, and still more. We cover everything @OKFN do, just with an American eye and more US-based content.
tweets about the @OKFNUS NYC list from 20131115

an @OKFNUS spin-off project

I had remixed source video from https://www.vizify.com/okfnus back in December, and polished it this week with some public domain media. To give the video a good home, I created a YouTube Channel, a Google account (okfnus@gmail) to eventually share management of the channel with my OKF colleagues in the US, and a Google+ Page. I had created the account in November 2012, but only started tweeting around June 2013, so 2014 will be better! One of the spin-off projects I began at @OKFNUS was a Twitter list for NYC area accounts. I started with 30 accounts in November and it is now over 40, see the full list and back story at http://pad.okfn.org/p/twitternyc. As in my tweet shown here, I would like that on a map, with open data, and for all cities… to be hacked upon at a hackathon?
gfx for @OKFNUS

graphic art for @OKFNUS

There are many moving parts in setting oneself up for what the pros call ‘cross channel marketing’, in social media and in concert with our web site. Creating graphic art, placing and editing code embeds, writing copy, linking each to the others; it has taken me over a week of spare time to weave the web at YouTube, Google+, et al. Next steps include meeting with my fellow account managers, and perhaps setting up an editorial calendar or divvying up responsibilities. I’ve been the only hand at the @OKFNUS till, but not for much longer! A key goal in setting out was to be a steady, dependable and growing voice for OKF in the US. I publish a minimum five tweets every day and eight on average, evenly spaced across the six or seven hours of American timezones, regional interest tweets timed appropriately. I had last posted about our activity on Twitter when sending the 1,000th tweet. At the time, we had just over 500 followers. As I sent our 1,500th tweet, we had just over 750 followers. On the numbers at least, I’m steadily hitting my marks. The voice of OKF in the US is about to become more of a chorus. I look forward to sharing the accounts with my fellow US Ambassadors!

1000 Pebbles on a Path

- October 8, 2013 in Featured, Twitter


With a tweet linking to this post, I have published the first 1,000 tweets at @OKFNUS. Below are some tales and details from the first 1,000 tweets. Going forward, expect more of the same at @OKFNUS — plus! more from other US Ambassadors and representatives of the Open Knowledge Foundation. I look forward to sharing tweeting duties as our numbers grow. I will not get to everything interesting about @OKFNUS in this one blog post, but I hereby swear to write up a few major events. It was an eventful time, from local OKF hackdays and meetups, to a trip to the White House, DEF CON in Vegas and Wikimania in Hong Kong, and of course #OKCon in Switzerland! We have managed to attract over 500 followers, but what has happened on the whole, over the first 1,000 tweets? Have they been like 1,000 pebbles on a path to Open Knowledge?

A brief word from the Art Department

Pebbles in a path at the Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon. photo CC0, by Brian Glanz

Pebbles in a path at the Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon. photo CC0, by Brian Glanz

Well if I’m going to be poetic, I might as well try poetry:

One hundred forty
steps, to steps, on a path with
one thousand pebbles.

One issue with that — it’s a Japanese-like poem to match a photo I snapped, shown here from a Chinese-like garden. At least it’s a bit better than the straight metaphor :) Tweets are short and the idea is, sweet. Tweets may be easy, but good tweets take work. You need to be real and hip to the internetz, but professional and quick with research. Merciless brevity and instant, global reach require tact and sometimes poetry.

How did I get into this?

I’ve used Twitter for seven years, and have published over 20,000 tweets total at the eight accounts I manage. I am @brianglanz but most accounts I share with others. I have enjoyed being the voice of @OKFNUS, but I prefer to share! I have volunteered with OKF in various projects, events, and working groups for over five years, and am particularly keen on open science, government, and journalism. (I started @openscience on Twitter.) I am also an open source web developer. I have built well over 100, probably over 1,000 web sites. I have volunteered now and again to improve OKFN.org and its network, which includes us.okfn.org and I first put this site together for the US. Working on someone’s web site gets you all up in their business. It was this and of course the mission of opening knowledge that brought me closer to OKF. I registered the @OKFNUS Twitter account in November, 2012 but did not make use of it until May, 2013. My fellow organizers and I did not want to begin acting as OKF representatives in any official regard until we had a green light! Once we had that, I set a few standards for the account. For example, I publish at least five tweets per day, spaced fairly evenly and with an eye toward timezone-relevant content. I generally tweet during waking hours in at least one US timezone. There are exceptions, like that I finally took one day off — yesterday! I used the time to draft this post about the first 1,000 tweets, to announce it with the 1,000th tweet. I can be particular.

Ours is a big country

In the first week I began using @OKFNUS, I was considering what to cover. I thought to myself, “covering hackdays might be nice.” OKF have brilliant code and projects, I could chime in remotely and volunteer support. In fact many US hackathons make use of OKF bits, including many I have organized, with projects from CKAN to PyBossa to the Public Domain Review. Great idea, then! I found, however that within just the first week I was tweeting at @OKFNUS, there were more than 100 hackathons in the United States. That was a few more events than I had planned to tune into, per week, as a volunteer voice of OKF :0) Ours is a big country. I did tune into many hackdays, though in that week and in the nearly six months since. I joined and organised some, too, including an August “Open Science Hack Night” for OKF in Seattle. I will write more about events in future posts, and about noteworthy Twitter exchanges, and how we measure impact. One more note before closing with some pretty pictures: to wrap my head around the OKF community on Twitter, and to serve us all as well, I began a list of every official OKF account. Every account, that is except one: @OKFNUS! Because I used @OKFNUS to create the list, and one cannot list oneself, @OKFNUS is not on the list. I call it “One list to find them… and in the open bind them.” I know… To listen as I do, then to OKF on Twitter, tune into this one list, plus! follow us @OKFNUS. It currently includes 158 staff, projects, groups, etc. – https://twitter.com/OKFNUS/lists/okf – and I crowdsourced it. Read more at http://new.okfnpad.org/p/twitter.

Pretty pictures and happy trails

Until I write more blog posts, enjoy this data visualization with maps of our followers. The maps link to larger, legible versions. Below them is a downloadable archive of our first 999 tweets, should anyone want to kick around the #opendata << of course. Note that for many Twitter accounts, location is unknown and distribution is highly approximate at distance. For example, we have followers in Germany but when zoomed this far out, they appear to be in London. Ohai, London! there is a good number, there per OKF Central. We have some followers on every continent, not many but it’s a start. Below the global map is a closer view of the US. From this global distance though, we see the Eastern and Western US follow @OKFNUS in about the same numbers. When you include Alaska and Hawai’i as Western, we have just 10 more followers in the East, out of more than 300 total that we know are in the US.

20131007 @OKFNUS followers global

In the US map below, it’s nice to see someone in Alaska, someone in Puerto Rico, and seven people in Hawai’i. At a closer range, you would again see more even distribution than is apparent. For example, not everyone mapped to Chicago below is actually there, some of them are as far away as Ohio. Naturally, there are more followers near major cities. Washington, DC is not actually our highest ranking metro area. The highest ranking metro area is Seattle, by just a bit and with San Francisco roughly the same. DC is third, New York City fourth. In the West, we might have a few more followers in the Pacific Northwest than in California, with more near Seattle than Portland and more in Northern than in Southern California. However, the San Francisco OKF meetup is by far the largest in the US, and it is nearly the largest OKF meetup in the world, second only to London. I expect San Francisco to ultimately lead US cities in Twitter followers of @OKFNUS as well.

20131007 @OKFNUS followers national

Download our Twitter archive, here. Can a brother get a word cloud? I promise more analytics and analyses in other posts.

1000 Pebbles on a Path

- October 8, 2013 in Featured, Twitter


With a tweet linking to this post, I have published the first 1,000 tweets at @OKFNUS. Below are some tales and details from the first 1,000 tweets. Going forward, expect more of the same at @OKFNUS — plus! more from other US Ambassadors and representatives of the Open Knowledge Foundation. I look forward to sharing tweeting duties as our numbers grow. I will not get to everything interesting about @OKFNUS in this one blog post, but I hereby swear to write up a few major events. It was an eventful time, from local OKF hackdays and meetups, to a trip to the White House, DEF CON in Vegas and Wikimania in Hong Kong, and of course #OKCon in Switzerland! We have managed to attract over 500 followers, but what has happened on the whole, over the first 1,000 tweets? Have they been like 1,000 pebbles on a path to Open Knowledge?

A brief word from the Art Department

Pebbles in a path at the Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon. photo CC0, by Brian Glanz

Pebbles in a path at the Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon. photo CC0, by Brian Glanz

Well if I’m going to be poetic, I might as well try poetry:

One hundred forty
steps, to steps, on a path with
one thousand pebbles.

One issue with that — it’s a Japanese-like poem to match a photo I snapped, shown here from a Chinese-like garden. At least it’s a bit better than the straight metaphor :) Tweets are short and the idea is, sweet. Tweets may be easy, but good tweets take work. You need to be real and hip to the internetz, but professional and quick with research. Merciless brevity and instant, global reach require tact and sometimes poetry.

How did I get into this?

I’ve used Twitter for seven years, and have published over 20,000 tweets total at the eight accounts I manage. I am @brianglanz but most accounts I share with others. I have enjoyed being the voice of @OKFNUS, but I prefer to share! I have volunteered with OKF in various projects, events, and working groups for over five years, and am particularly keen on open science, government, and journalism. (I started @openscience on Twitter.) I am also an open source web developer. I have built well over 100, probably over 1,000 web sites. I have volunteered now and again to improve OKFN.org and its network, which includes us.okfn.org and I first put this site together for the US. Working on someone’s web site gets you all up in their business. It was this and of course the mission of opening knowledge that brought me closer to OKF. I registered the @OKFNUS Twitter account in November, 2012 but did not make use of it until May, 2013. My fellow organizers and I did not want to begin acting as OKF representatives in any official regard until we had a green light! Once we had that, I set a few standards for the account. For example, I publish at least five tweets per day, spaced fairly evenly and with an eye toward timezone-relevant content. I generally tweet during waking hours in at least one US timezone. There are exceptions, like that I finally took one day off — yesterday! I used the time to draft this post about the first 1,000 tweets, to announce it with the 1,000th tweet. I can be particular.

Ours is a big country

In the first week I began using @OKFNUS, I was considering what to cover. I thought to myself, “covering hackdays might be nice.” OKF have brilliant code and projects, I could chime in remotely and volunteer support. In fact many US hackathons make use of OKF bits, including many I have organized, with projects from CKAN to PyBossa to the Public Domain Review. Great idea, then! I found, however that within just the first week I was tweeting at @OKFNUS, there were more than 100 hackathons in the United States. That was a few more events than I had planned to tune into, per week, as a volunteer voice of OKF :0) Ours is a big country. I did tune into many hackdays, though in that week and in the nearly six months since. I joined and organised some, too, including an August “Open Science Hack Night” for OKF in Seattle. I will write more about events in future posts, and about noteworthy Twitter exchanges, and how we measure impact. One more note before closing with some pretty pictures: to wrap my head around the OKF community on Twitter, and to serve us all as well, I began a list of every official OKF account. Every account, that is except one: @OKFNUS! Because I used @OKFNUS to create the list, and one cannot list oneself, @OKFNUS is not on the list. I call it “One list to find them… and in the open bind them.” I know… To listen as I do, then to OKF on Twitter, tune into this one list, plus! follow us @OKFNUS. It currently includes 158 staff, projects, groups, etc. — https://twitter.com/OKFNUS/lists/okf — and I crowdsourced it. Read more at http://new.okfnpad.org/p/twitter.

Pretty pictures and happy trails

Until I write more blog posts, enjoy this data visualization with maps of our followers. The maps link to larger, legible versions. Below them is a downloadable archive of our first 999 tweets, should anyone want to kick around the #opendata << of course. Note that for many Twitter accounts, location is unknown and distribution is highly approximate at distance. For example, we have followers in Germany but when zoomed this far out, they appear to be in London. Ohai, London! there is a good number, there per OKF Central. We have some followers on every continent, not many but it’s a start. Below the global map is a closer view of the US. From this global distance though, we see the Eastern and Western US follow @OKFNUS in about the same numbers. When you include Alaska and Hawai’i as Western, we have just 10 more followers in the East, out of more than 300 total that we know are in the US.

20131007 @OKFNUS followers global

In the US map below, it’s nice to see someone in Alaska, someone in Puerto Rico, and seven people in Hawai’i. At a closer range, you would again see more even distribution than is apparent. For example, not everyone mapped to Chicago below is actually there, some of them are as far away as Ohio. Naturally, there are more followers near major cities. Washington, DC is not actually our highest ranking metro area. The highest ranking metro area is Seattle, by just a bit and with San Francisco roughly the same. DC is third, New York City fourth. In the West, we might have a few more followers in the Pacific Northwest than in California, with more near Seattle than Portland and more in Northern than in Southern California. However, the San Francisco OKF meetup is by far the largest in the US, and it is nearly the largest OKF meetup in the world, second only to London. I expect San Francisco to ultimately lead US cities in Twitter followers of @OKFNUS as well.

20131007 @OKFNUS followers national

Download our Twitter archive, here. Can a brother get a word cloud? I promise more analytics and analyses in other posts.

Show & Tell from the Open & Citizen Science OKCon Hackathon

- September 19, 2013 in Events, Hackday, OKCon

Most hackdays end with “Show and Tell” — each project giving a demo or a report on their progress. Today’s Open Science and Citizen Science Hackathon, anchored in Geneva on the heels of OK Con, included remote participants in France, Germany, the Netherlands and the US, and possibly other places. This did complicate Show and Tell.
The Open Science WikiSprint group in Geneva, photo by

part of the WikiSprint group in Geneva

We will use this post, however to recap the day! Fearless hackathon leaders Stefan Kasberger and Rayna Stamboliyska had previously solicited project proposals and votes on favourites, with which they announced what projects would likely be attempted on the day. Hackdays don’t always go to plan and that’s intentional, people are welcome to start something unexpected. One unintended, good result of mashing up great people and great ideas was the metabolomics scientist who met Daniel Lombraña-González and got into crowdsourcing, citizen science with CrowdCrafting, run on OKF’s PyBossa. A particularly active and international group held a WikiSprint to improve Open Science related content at the P2P Foundation and on Wikipedia as detailed in those links. You can still contribute! and please do. Pictured above are some of the participants in Geneva, with the photo taken by project leader, Célya Gruson-Daniel @celyagd. Activities were organized with this Etherpad, where you can find more on who got up to what in the WikiSprint.
@MaliciaRogue!

@MaliciaRogue!

At about the halfway mark, Rayna @MaliciaRogue dropped a few summary tweets: The Open & Citizen Science workshop is going very nicely: we have an #OpenScienceManifesto coming, an #OpenScienceWiki sprint, (cont) #OKCon >>> We also have more hardcore statistical stuff going on w friends from OKF Finland organizing R packages for #OpenGov data analysis #OKCon Last but not least, we have metabolomics scientists interested to involve citizens with #Crowdcrafting cc @teleyinex #OpenScience #OKCon We will report more soon!

OKCon Open & Citizen Science hackday: projects

- September 14, 2013 in Announcements, Events, Hackday, Members, OKCon, tools

Join us geeking out Thursday, Sept 19, 10:00 to 17:00 CEST at #OKCon and online! Details are below. See also our announcement of this event and everyone’s votes for favourite projects. For WikiSprint: Global overview of Open Science initiatives please join us remotely via the coordinating Etherpad (found: https://etherpad.mozilla.org/xpQvKfNv5c) and working either here or on Wikipedia. For other projects, join us in IRC: #openscience on freenode or via the web at http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=openscience. Find us on Twitter @MaliciaRogue, @stefankasberger, @openscience, and at #openscience or #OKCon. okcon_science

Proposal 1

Title: “Open Data in Research: an illusion?” Details: Despite the dazzling development of the open access movement, open data initiatives in science and research are still trailing in involvement. Additionally, disparities in research data sharing and openness are huge across scientific communities and domains. Last but not least, formats and licensing terms greatly vary even within specific field. This suggested activity will wrap-up current initiatives and achievements prior to formalizing the challenges ahead. The middle-term goal is to bootstrap connections converging to a true institutional change that leads to more participative, shareable and transparent science: the science of tomorrow. Support: Open Data enthusiasts, geeks and science nerds welcome. Comment: Remote participation welcome (IRC, pad). Hashtag: #OpenSciData

Proposal 2

Title: “An inclusive approach to open science” Details: The discourse in open science often runs along the lines of open vs. closed approaches. In reality though, most researchers act in-between those two extremes. From successful examples such as genomics, we can see that open science is essentially a community effort (cp. Bermuda Principles). Therefore, we (the Austrian chapter of the OKFN) advocate an inclusive approach to open science. From a community perspective, it is the commitment to openness that matters, and the willingness to promote this openness on editorial boards and program committees. It is therefore important to get as many researchers on board as possible. This approach is not intended to replace existing initiatives but to make researchers aware of these initiatives and helping them with choosing their approach to open science. The idea of this hackathon is to create a manifesto/declaration for such an inclusive approach. A draft and a first discussion can be found here: http://science20.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/an-inclusive-approach-to-open-science/ We invite contributions from researchers in various disciplines on their experiences with advocating and implementing open science practices. This could be in the form of presentations, lightning talks, or focused discussions. Support: We mainly need creative minds; designers, illustrators, and animators are welcome as we could produce a short video about the idea. Comment: N/A

Proposal 3

Title: “Wikisprint: Global overview of OpenScience initiatives” Details: A few months ago an event was organised to agregate links and knowledge about P2P initiatives. http://codigoabiertocc.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/globalp2p-the-wind-that-shook-the-net/ In partnership with Michel Bauwens of the P2P Foundation and HackYourPhd I’d like to organize a similar event for OpenScience initiative. The P2P Foundation aims to promote and document peer to peer practices in a very broad sense. The collective HackYourPhd federate numerous students, researchers and citizens interested in the production and the sharing of knowledge. Being an administrator on the French Wikipedia, I will likely get support from the Wikimedia communities. This “wikisprint” will be set up as follow:
  1. The idea will be to announce the event a few days ago and invite people on twitter and other plateform to share their initiative with us.
  2. We could for exemple use the hashtag #OpenScienceWiki
  3. During the hackathon People in Geneva but also elsewhere could help to agregate the links in a wiki, interact with people all around the world and invite them to share their initiatives. We can use the P2Pwiki: http://p2pfoundation.net/Spanish_P2P_WikiSprint We could also map this OpenSciene initiative in a map http://maps.ubimix.com/hyphdus/
  4. We could also visualize all the interaction with the hashtag Here is an example of what people have done during the #GlobalP2P event: http://demos.outliers.es/wikiSprint/
  5. Once the broad mapping is done on the P2Pwiki, it could serve to enhance several Wikipedia articles on Open Science. The content is currently rather poor: see for instance http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_knowledge and to a lesser extent http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Science. Wikidata — the growing open data repository of the Wikimedia Foundation — could also use some contributions to the topic https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q2251455 and https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q309823 are empty.
  6. Illustrations and dataviz might also be welcome: for instance, graphics of academic publishing economics (figures are rather hard to get).
Support: Designer and programmer are welcome for the visualisation Comment: Here are some guidelines given by Michel Bauwens to help us organize this workshop.
  • it’s important to give some basic how to advice at the beginning of the process
  • in each locale, it’s good to have a person that can just wander around and help and stimulate the other people (this makes a big difference)
  • we had a permanent rolling hangout, with every hour a different topic to be discussed (it went on for 15 hours or so during the hispanic wikisprint)
  • it makes it much more easy if there is a pre-established form, with the tickable tags etc.
  • clear delimitation of subject matter, not anything goes , make sure you specify what open science is inclusive of, perhaps some geographic limitation (say Europe) etc..
  • choice of tags: one for the event itself, say [[Category:OpenScience Wikisprint]]; one for the topic, so that it continues to live on after the event, say [[Category:Open Science]] this can be combined for example with country tags, [[Category:France]] etc. (the p2pfoundation.net wiki already has http://p2pfoundation.net/Category:Science for the broader p2p/commons aspects of science, this would allow a more specialized focus) I will be also present during this workshop to help the interaction with Wikipedia and the wikipedia community.
  • Including Wikipedia within the wikisprint could stimulate global contribution by attracting experienced wiki user. We can create a parallel contribution project (an example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:GLAM/MonmouthpediA )

Proposal 4

Title: “rOpenGov – R ecosystem for social and political science” Details: With the avalanche of open government data and other fields relevant to computational social science, new algorithms are needed to take full advantage of these new information resources – to access, analyse and communicate such information in a fully transparent and reproducible manner as part of scientific inquiry or citizen science projects. A scalable solution will require coordinated effort from independent developers. Hence, we are now building up a community-driven ecosystem of R packages dedicated to open government data and computational social and political science, building on lessons learned from analogous and wildly successful projects in other fields. The site already provides open source R tools for open government data analytics for Austria, Finland, and Russia and we are now actively collecting further contributions. The preliminary project website is at: http://louhos.github.io/en/ropengov.html Support: In addition to internet access, the project would benefit from contributions from website designers, scientists and R package developers. Comment: Distant participation to the hackathon through IRC/Skype is also possible.

Proposal 5

Title: “Crowdcrafting Everywhere” Details: Crowdcrafting is a straightforward, open source handy tool for citizen science. Unfortunately, Crowdcrafting solely speaks English for now. What about translating it into other languages, e.g. French, Spanish, Russian,…? Support: Multilingual enthusiasts welcome! Comment: Remote participation welcome. Hashtag: #CCEverywhere. Crowdcrafting’s lead developer, Daniel Lombrana-Gonzalez, will also be with us throughout the whole day.

Proposal 6

Title: Open Access Button Details: Open Access Button is a browser-based tool which tracks every time someone is denied access to a paper. We want to display this, along with the person’s location, profession and story on a real time, worldwide, interactive map of the problem. While creating pressure to open up scholarly and scientific research, we also want to help people work within the current broken system by helping them get access to the paper they need. That’s the project summed up really briefly. We built a prototype at the start of the summer and are working towards a launch of later in the year. Support: tbc Comment: Waiting for confirmation for founders to join in person. Remote participation will be confirmed soon.

Proposal 7

Title: “Booksprint: OpenScience Guidelines for PhD Students and researchers” Description: Organize a book sprint to write a guide about how to do open science for researchers or PhD students. No special skills are needed to participate, if you are a PhD student or a students or know the basic of science from another area. We will share our ideas and experience with open science. Possible chapters: * What does it mean to publish in open access? * How do you go about publishing in open access? * What is an “Open notebook”? * How do I organize an open notebook? * Which other tools are available? * What tools are missing? * How do we communicate and better support each other? etc. To write the book, we will use Fidus Writer ( http://fiduswriter.org ), an open source, webbased editor that typesets academic writing with citations and formulas, and lets us publish PDFs or ebooks of articles and/or journals without any technical skills. The Fidus Writer team will assist via hangout/chat. Support: Some designers are welcome to help for figures, and other visualisations. Internet access has to be available and Google Chrome or Chromium installed on the machines. Artististic minds are also welcome :) Comment: I think it would be a good idea to find a printing solution as well, because to have something in your hands, can be very engaging and it would be great for hackyourpdh to have something to show around. But this could be done afterwards.

Open Science Hack Night in Seattle

- August 8, 2013 in Meetups, Seattle

An August night went from beautiful to brilliant when roughly 50 people came together for lightning talks, mingling, beer and Open Science hacking in Seattle.

That’s me @brianglanz, welcoming everyone.

Given the summer timing, I had lined up several cohosts for the event, and I had stressed that no technical or science background was required to attend. Each host brought some of their own — there were civic hackers from Code for Seattle, scientists and science communicators from ScienceOnlineSeattle, and hacktivists of all sorts from local enthusiasts of the Open Science Federation and Open Knowledge Foundation’s Seattle meetup.

Seattle meets HackYourPhD

The night’s main speaker was Célya Gruson-Daniel, co-founder of HackYourPhD who also provided the refreshments. After I opened the event, Célya introduced Open Science, HackYourPhD, and HackYourPhD aux States, the project which brought her to Seattle. She is based in Paris and has been touring the US, producing a web documentary of the American Open Science community — track her progress at http://hackyourphd.org/USA. UPDATE: Célya has storified her week in Seattle, where she interviewed researchers, funders, hackers, journalists, startups… even me! Check it out, and do listen to some of the interviews. The hack night was at the end of the week. We kept public notes in the OKFNpad with which we had planned the night, at http://okfnpad.org/2013august7seattle. Projects included: This local event was also made possible with the support of our parent organizations, Code for America, the Open Knowledge Foundation, and ScienceOnline. Thank you!

Open Science Hack Night in Seattle

- August 8, 2013 in Meetups, Seattle

An August night went from beautiful to brilliant when roughly 50 people came together for lightning talks, mingling, beer and Open Science hacking in Seattle.

That’s me @brianglanz, welcoming everyone.

Given the summer timing, I had lined up several cohosts for the event, and I had stressed that no technical or science background was required to attend. Each host brought some of their own — there were civic hackers from Code for Seattle, scientists and science communicators from ScienceOnlineSeattle, and hacktivists of all sorts from local enthusiasts of the Open Science Federation and Open Knowledge Foundation’s Seattle meetup.

Seattle meets HackYourPhD

The night’s main speaker was Célya Gruson-Daniel, co-founder of HackYourPhD who also provided the refreshments. After I opened the event, Célya introduced Open Science, HackYourPhD, and HackYourPhD aux States, the project which brought her to Seattle. She is based in Paris and has been touring the US, producing a web documentary of the American Open Science community — track her progress at http://hackyourphd.org/USA. UPDATE: Célya has storified her week in Seattle, where she interviewed researchers, funders, hackers, journalists, startups… even me! Check it out, and do listen to some of the interviews. The hack night was at the end of the week. We kept public notes in the OKFNpad with which we had planned the night, at http://okfnpad.org/2013august7seattle. Projects included: This local event was also made possible with the support of our parent organizations, Code for America, the Open Knowledge Foundation, and ScienceOnline. Thank you!