[okfn-discuss] History of the Open Knowledge Foundation

Emanuil Tolev emanuil.tolev at gmail.com
Sun Dec 1 18:02:45 UTC 2013

This is strange. When I got acquainted with the OK field and OKFn back in
2011 I'm sure I read about the history of the OKF somewhere - I thought it
was Wikipedia, but the article histories disagree with me.

I have a vague recollection of the material I read back then. Certain ideas
and ideals were generated among the Blue Obelisk people. The impression I
have of that is that it's like a writer's circle of amicable chemistry
scholars who were intent on pushing openness and sharing in chemistry.

This overlapped with the ideas that some other people had and in 2006 OKF
was given a big push (having being founded in 2004), they possibly got
their first serious funding back then.

It'd be nice to have a timeline, no doubt. I'm sure a lot of the stuff the
OKF did (at least the expansions of topics covered) can be easily related
to the Shuttleworth, Alfred Sloan and Omidyar Network funding coming in at
various points.

I'd definitely like to see this timeline happen and would be quite willing
to buy written materials delving into the history and evolution of the OKF
+ the approach to overcoming numerous obstacles against openness. Obviously
this would go far beyond a simple timeline and falls more within the remit
of consulting that OKF does, but I did say "buy" intentionally.


On 1 December 2013 12:10, Lane Rasberry <lane at bluerasberry.com> wrote:

> Hello,
> I have looked a bit and been unable to find anything which covers the
> scope of the history. I think that the compilation has never been made.
> Wikipedia would be an ideal venue for building this out because it is a
> place where different people can work independently to add what parts of
> the story they know.
> A difficulty with Wikipedia is that the story there must be told by
> summarizing and citing whatever is already published by third parties, and
> should exclude whatever the Open Knowledge Foundation has said about itself.
> I also want this article filled out soon. If anyone has sources that tell
> any part of the story, then please share. If anyone wants to join in
> writing this on Wikipedia, then let me know and I can meet you there. I can
> also give Wikipedia training to anyone who wants it.
> Thanks,
> On Sun, Dec 1, 2013 at 12:10 AM, Everton Zanella Alvarenga <
> everton.alvarenga at okfn.org> wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> is there any place I can find the history of the Open Knowledge
>> Foundation? I just know Rufus was one of the co-founders (who were the
>> others?) and what is written here
>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Knowledge_Foundation
>> Since next year the OKF will be 10 years old, it would be great to have
>> such kind of information for we understand the roots of our expanding
>> network and celebrate it.
>> Maybe Rufus and Jonathan (others?), copied here, could tell us about it?
>> It'd be great to know who started to write the open definition and why,
>> the origin of CKAN, some initial ideas that were dropped out in the last
>> 10 years, the reason someone thought it was necessary to create an
>> organization that promotes open knowledge in its all forms and her or his
>> main motivations etc.. There are a lot of other things I am sure several
>> people would like to know. :)
>> Tom
>> --
>> Everton Zanella Alvarenga (also Tom)
>> OKF Brasil - Rede pelo Conhecimento Livre
>> http://br.okfn.org
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> --
> Lane Rasberry
> user:bluerasberry on Wikipedia
> 206.801.0814
> lane at bluerasberry.com
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