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Data Roundup, 19 February

- February 19, 2014 in Cities, cost of living, data cleanser, Data Roundup, impact stories competition, infographic, lego, practice, visualization

Joriel “Joz” Jimenez – Lego Castle Advent Calendar

Tools, Events, Courses Every data addict knows that each file containing numbers in rows and columns must be filtered and cleaned first. The Data Cleanser help you doing it by rapidly removing duplicates. Try it here. The Partnership for Open Data officially launched the Impact Stories Competition. Submit a story on how open data has positively changed the community you live in and get the chance to win 1000 dollars. Data Stories The Guardian Data Blog ranked the biggest cities in the world according to their cost of living and to the average price paid for a 1kg loaf of bread. Read more about how the economy is changing in countries’ capitals here. Matthew C. Klein works for the Bloomberg View and recently succeeded in transforming complex financial and economic data into a story told through a series of attractive visualizations. How We Spend is the title of the project, and it absolutely deserves to be seen. As I am a fan of curious infographics, here is one on the saying Practice Makes Perfect from Daily Infographic. Shane O’Neill from InformationWeek interviewed Phil Simon, technology expert and author of the book ‘The Visual Organization’ where he discusses the importance of turning data into visualizations. Take a look at it here. If you are passionate about history and you live in Washington D.C., here is an interesting article from the Washington Post on D.C. historic houses you might want to see. Young or aspiring data journalists may take inspiration from this (very short) interview with Duarte Romero Varela, a graduate student from Birmingham University who talks about his first impressions of working for Infogr8. Have you ever seen conditional probability visualized? No? Well, now you can admire this beautiful visual explanation of it made by Victor Powell for Setosa. The Economist published an interesting short article showing when and how Lego became one of the leading toy brands in the world. Read about its expansion in ‘Empire Building’. Data Sources Dyanna Gregory and Trina Chiasson from Infoactive are leading a wonderful project called Data Made Simple aimed at realizing a free e-book on the fundamentals of data visualization. Help them here by filling a short survey. Pie charts are probably the most hated way to represent data. If you tired of them and you are looking for good alternatives Helpmeviz explain here how to avoid and replace them with better graphs. Credits Thanks to @EdRamthun and @stelldirvornet! flattr this!

Open design communities, entrepreneurial coalitions, and the partner state

- June 16, 2011 in design communities, entrepreneurial coalitions, lego, OKCon, partner state

This guest post is from Michel Bauwens, founder of the Foundation for Peer to Peer Alternatives. Michel will be joining us at OKCon 2011 for his talk No Open Society without Open Knowledge, no Open Knowledge without Open Infrastructures. To understand the reality or illusion behind projects claiming to practice co-creation or co-design, one must look at the polarities of power and control that determine the context in which the co-creative processes take place, with on the one hand the communities of external collaborators, and on the other side, the corporate entities. But before tackling this issue in particular, it may be useful to see the emerging new paradigm of production that is arising out of the new participative processes.

The new Lego World virtual environment is a sharing environment

The new institutional reality could be described as follows: THE FIRST LAYER: COLLABORATIVE PLATFORMS At the core are the enabling collaborative socio-technological platforms, that allow knowledge workers, software developers and open design communities to collaborate on joint projects, outside of the direct control of corporate entities. Interesting questions already arise here: who is the driving force behind the creation & development of such platforms? They can be initiated by developing communities, managed and maintained by a new type of non-profit institution (like the FLOSS Foundations), or they can be corporate platforms that have been opened up to external participants THE SECOND LAYER: OPEN DESIGN COMMONS Around the corporate platform is the open design community and the knowledge/software/design commons ruled by a set of licenses which determine the particular nature of the property. Interesting questions here are: Is it a true commons license like the GPL, a sharing license like the Creative Commons where the stress is on the individual sovereignity in determining the level of sharing that is allowed; or is it a corporate license, giving very limited rights, or even with outright digital sharecropping, i.e. the expropriation of the totality of the creative output reserved for usage by the organizing corporation? THE THIRD LAYER: ENTERPRENEURIAL COALITIONS Around the commons are the entrepreneurial coalitions that benefit and sustain the design commons, create added value on top of it, and sell this as products or services to the market. Important questions raised here are: how is the coalition itself organized? Do all parties have equal say, as in the Linux Foundation, or does one big party dominate, like with the Eclipse Foundation and IBM. How does the business ecology relate to the community. Is is nothing but a corporate commons? THE FOURTH LAYER: FUNDING ECOLOGIES In addition, there is a funding infrastructure. What is the process governing the stream of returns from the monetized market sphere, to the commons, its community, and the infrastructure of cooperation? Do businesses support the community directly, through the foundations? Is the government or a set of public authorities involved. Are there crowdfunding mechanisms? THE FIFTH LAYER: THE PARTNER STATE AS ORCHESTRATOR? Finally, there is the role of public authorities and governments in orchestrating the public-private-common triad in order to benefit from the local effects of the new networked coopetition between entrepreneurial coalitions and their linked communities. In the not so far future, wealth building or sustaining capacity will be determined to a large degree by the capacity of cities, regions and states to insert themselves within the global coopetition between different enterpreneurial coalitions (think drupal vs. joomla, but on a much larger scale). OVERVIEW OF THE MAIN MODELS When we look at this set interlocking triad (community – foundation – business) or quaternary structure (if public authorities are involved), we can now distinguish at least 3 main models
  • In commons centered peer production, like Linux, the community is at the core, and a real commons operate, with the community strong enough to sustain its own infrastructure, and cooperating with market players

  • In a sharing environment, where individuals share their creative endeavour, it is the corporate third party platform which monetizes the attention space, and may control the platform to a significant degree; the community does not control its own platform, but is not without power of influence, since quick and massive mobilizations are always possible.

  • In a crowdsourced environment, participant producers are even more isolated from each other, and the corporation integrates them in the value chain which they control. Since individuals are here competing for market value themselves, solidarity is more difficult to obtain, given corporate platform owners more influence

A good illustration of the various possibilities is Lego. Lego still operates as a classical producer of toys, selling to consumer; in Lego Factory, it has its crowdsourced environment, where co-designers can take a cut of the kits they succeed in selling; the new Lego World virtual environment is a sharing environment; finally, Lugnet is true commons-oriented peer production, happening outside the control of the company altogether. Here are ten different co-creation modalities, depending on the polarity of control between peer producers and the corporate entities: The first five are written from the point of view of corporate entities, wanting to engage with productive communities:

  1. Consumers: you make, they consume. The classic model.
  2. Self-service: you make, they go get it themselves. This is where consumers start becoming prosumers, but the parameters of the cooperation are totally set by the producing corporation. It’s really not much more than a strategy of externalization of costs. Think of ATM’s and gas stations. We could call it simple externalization.
  3. Do-it-yourself: you design, they make it themselves. One step further, pioneered by the likes of Ikea, where the consumers, re-assembles the product himself. Complex externalization of business processes.
  4. Company-based Crowdsourcing. The company organizes a value chain which lets the wider public produce the value, but under the control of the company.
  5. Co-design: you set the parameters, but you design it together For examples, see here
In the next set, the control moves towards the communities:
  1. Co-creativity: you both create cooperatively. In this stage, the corporation does not even set the parameters, the prosumer is an equal partner in the development of new products. Perhaps the industrial model of the adventure sports material makers would fit here. For examples, see here
  2. Sharing communities create the value, Web 2.0 proprietary platforms, attempt to monetize participation.
  3. Peer production proper: communities create the value, using a Commons, with assistance from corporations who attempt to create derivative streams of value. Linux is the paradigmatic example.
  4. Peer production with cooperative production: peer producers create their own vehicles for monetization. The OS Alliance is an example of this
  5. Peer production communities or sharing communities place themselves explicitely outside of the monetary economy.
You can register for OKCon 2011 here