It’s About Giving, Not Taking
Posted by Brian Kelly (UK Web Focus) on 22 December 2006
A colleague came in to my office yesterday clutching a book (“Wiki A New Wave in Web Collaboration“) she had just received which, she informed me, had a contribution from me. Rather than a brief mention I was surprised to find that it included an 8 page article on “Experiences of Using a Wiki for Note-taking at a Workshop“. I had to search for this title before finding that this was an article I’d written which had been published in Ariadne (Issue 42, January 2005). I then recalled that over a year ago we had received a request from someone in Indian working for ICFAI (Institute of Chartered Financial Analysis of India) for permission to include this article in a book he was editing. I was happy to give my permission – and was very pleased to receive a copy of the book just before Christmas.
Having a article published in a book produced in India reminded me that back in January 1995 I sent out an announcement about a handbook on “Running A WWW Service” which I had written and which was mirrored in the US, Sweden,Turkey and Slovenia (not Singapore, as I mistakenly announced, misinterpretting the .si country code). The handbook was also, at one stage, included in the SuSE Linux distribution pack.
I’ve always has an open attitude regarding materials I’ve written, and, for the past year, my slides have contained a Creative Commons logo. In June 2005 I gave a talk at the EUNIS 2005 conference on “Let’s Free IT Support Materials!” in which I argued for support services in our institutions should be pro-active in allowing documents produced for internal use available for re-use by others.
Three days before Christmas it is timely to repeat this proposal. Remember, openness is about giving, not taking.