Content is Context, Content is Conversation


Symposium Nederland Kennisland (02-10-08)


Kennisland (Knowledgeland is an independent Dutch think thank with the overall goal to make Holland smarter. They try to achieve this goal by means of research, advice, projects and networks focused on four main themes: creative economy, open innovation, smart government and smart schools.


I attended their yearly meeting KL Studio 2008 last Thursday at which a short presentation on OAPEN as a part of their Open Content workshop was given.


The Keynote speaker of this workshop was Rasmus Fleischer from Piratbyrån ( ( who gave a lecture on copyright. One of his main points was that we need to think beyond copyright. 21st century copyright is less concerned with the individual work and is increasingly focusing on the tools that infringe copyright (software and indexing tools: for instance bittorrent tracker The Pirate Bay). Fleischer however notes that piracy is much larger that just online P2P networks, there is also a lot of informal piracy (darknets, sneakernets).


An important conclusion from his speech is that the value does not lie in when everything is online and open. The value lies in what we do with all this information. In this respect value will increasingly lie in things that are specific, things that are unique (one place, one time, like for instance live music). Stuff that cannot be copied becomes more relevant (you can for instance compare this with lectures/conferences/networking in science). The question is how to create meaning out of cultural superabundance. In this respect software and indexing tools and also community forming will become more important: this can take care of the selecting, indexing, interconnecting, contextualizing and actualizing of content. In other words, we need to find new ways to put the content into context.


This connects to one of the other focus points of the symposium: how can we learn from other (open) business models in new media? For it is not only about a new business model but also about a mentality change/shift. And this is where the connection between the different initiatives lies. For open content has both a social and an economical impact. Content needs to be placed within a context, we need to communicate. Quoting Cory Doctorow: “Conversation is king. Content is just something to talk about.”



Other interesting links:


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This entry was posted on October 13, 2008 by in Lectures and Conferences and tagged , , , , .


Open Reflections is created by Janneke Adema



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