[okfn-discuss] new brand, new website: coming up next week

heath rezabek heath.rezabek at gmail.com
Sat Apr 12 18:28:33 UTC 2014

I have a thought on this, and want to present a possible way a local
ambassador or chapter could utilize the logo and tagline in a flexible but
harmonious way.  One thing I'd be interested to hear is whether or not such
a usage would be acceptable to OK Leadership.  If so, then to me it feels
like a built-in solution.

Using the basic format of the merchandise templates, and the mottos there,
we have:

    See How Data Can Change the World

    Open Data / Open Minds

... and of course

    Open Knowledge.

With the addition of the word 'open' to the first tagline, you'd end up with

    See How Open Data Can Change the World

... which meshes more completely with Open Data Open Minds.  With this as
an example, it's not much of a stretch to envision a tagline saying:

    See How Open Science Can Change The World

or ...

    See How Open Platforms Can Change The World

... which of course leads to Open Science / Open Minds ... or Open
Platforms / Open Minds ... and even Open Knowledge / Open Minds.

While OK Central may opt to use the Data tagline exclusively, with such a
simple formula, I see an opportunity to start dialogues about what open
means (which is already an ongoing discussion among Libre advocates).  And
to me, it is fitting that Open Knowledge would thus come to stand for this
ongoing evolution and adaptation and application of -- O P E N.

If it's acceptable for a local effort to use the logo along with a tagline
that underlines the approach to Open Knowledge that they most fully pursue,
then I see only solutions waiting to be applied to local needs; not a

While I know the determined tagline reads "See How Data Can" and not "See
How Open Data Can", I wonder what the branding team might think of this
slight change of perspective as a path to a full range of approaches.

    See How Open ______ Can Change the World

    Open ______    Open Minds

- Heath

On Sat, Apr 12, 2014 at 11:57 AM, Laura James <laura.james at okfn.org> wrote:

> Hi Tim,
> Many thanks for the fast feedback :)
> I've included some responses below, and also added to the wiki page:
> http://wiki.okfn.org/About_the_Open_Knowledge_brand
> On 12 April 2014 15:19, Tim Davies <tim at practicalparticipation.co.uk>wrote:
>> *1) A concern about process*
>> The Open Knowledge (Foundation) is, I think, widely understood as a broad
>> movement made up of WGs, Chapters, and many other volunteers as well as
>> core team. Developing a new brand was an opportunity to have an inclusive
>> conversation about what the community and core organisation understand by
>> open knowledge - and it seems, with this brand being presented as a done
>> deal, that opportunity has been missed.
>> Reading the responses of the 2013 survey that were shared on the OK(F)
>> blog, I also don't seem these reflected in the final core purpose and tag
>> line.
> The community survey gave us lots more raw data than was shared on the
> blog summaries, of course.  We took all of this information, plus the
> outputs of interviews and discussions, to create the summaries of who we
> are and what we do:
> http://wiki.okfn.org/About_the_Open_Knowledge_brand#How_the_new_brand_came_about
> We then took all of that and created words which are simple and
> understandable, succinct, and appealing to a broader public audience.  We
> are working on the brand, and other communications materials, to make sure
> we have a clear, exciting and engaging presentation of open knowledge for
> new audiences, because it is important that others can discover the power
> of open, to get more data opened up and make it used and useful.
> Because the tagline and so on are short, they can only represent part of
> the incredible diversity and range of the Open Knowledge network.
> Short is important. New people encountering a new thing (in this case,
> Open Knowledge and the ideas of the open movement in general) usually only
> give it a few moments before forming a judgement about whether it is
> interesting or appealing. We do not have long to excite them about the
> power of openness! Clear and understandable for non-specialists is also
> important. There's just so much to explain, it can be overwhelming or
> confusing, and we know from feedback that we can seem very academic, or
> very technical, to people, who then get put off.
> (More information:
> http://wiki.okfn.org/About_the_Open_Knowledge_brand#What_the_brand_needs_to_do)
>> Is there an openness to reviewing and more widely consulting the
>> community on this new brand before taking it as fixed?
>> We've heard from many of the Chapters and Local Groups that
> communications are a big challenge and that simpler, clearer words are much
> needed. We hope that what we're sharing here is helpful and we hope groups
> will want to adopt (and adapt) the words, and to use the graphics and logo
> - but this is a free choice. The Open Knowledge Network is very diverse,
> with many different groups working in different ways, in different
> countries and fields. We look forward to discussing how these words fit
> with the plans and ideas of Local Groups and Working Groups, and working
> out together how best to tackle our communications challenges. That might
> be with these words - or with others we can create.
> For Open Knowledge Central, the new brand will help us in our work, where
> communicating to a wider audience is vital, and we're going to be moving to
> the new brand across our activities during 2014. For the network of local
> groups and working groups, the brand is available for use, we hope that it
> will be useful in communicating to new audiences, but it's a choice for
> each group when and how they use the various brand elements.
>  So yes - we expect to discuss with the community in the coming weeks and
> months :)
>> *2) Data and tech-centricity*
>> The motivation, core purpose and tagline are more tech-centric and
>> data-centric than the OK(F) community is, risking sidelining other aspects
>> of the open knowledge community. For the tag-line just to be about data
>> seems particularly problematic.
> You're right that the focus is on data. That is an area where openness has
> particular power which is understandable and interesting to folk outside
> the open movement and the tech scene today, and so it meets our needs for a
> short, clear message which is understandable and appealing to new
> audiences.
>> *3) Understanding the difference of data, information and knowledge*
>> The motivation and core purpose statement appear to conflate date,
>> information and knowledge and use them interchangeably - but they are
>> importantly distinct. I would argue there needs to be a recognition of the
>> distinction of data, information and knowledge in order to develop a
>> coherent theory of change and purpose.
> I totally agree - for our theory of change (and we could debate whether we
> have one, or several!), we need clarity and distinction around these terms.
> But the short phrases forming part of our brand aren't our theory of
> change.
> We've been thinking a lot about impact and theory of change in recent
> months actually, and look forward to talking more about that.
>> *4) Analysis of power*
>> The core purpose emphasises 'informed choice' as the primary means of
>> securing change - but does not address the need to change the frameworks in
>> which individuals are making choices. I think there is a much stronger
>> political critique of power to be found across the open knowledge movement,
>> and this is currently entirely missing from these statements.
> I think we are in agreement here - we know there's lots of work to do in
> all kinds of areas to secure the future we want to see.
> The core purpose does have two other bits that I feel are pretty important
> (and which appeal more to me, personally, than the line about 'informed
> choice'):
> A world where knowledge creates power for the many, not the few.
> A world where information and insights are accessible - and apparent - to
> everyone.
> But this is about brand and communications, not what we might work on in
> the coming years. It's about helping new people get open, and get into
> open.  It's about how I can persuade my neighbour to post his village
> history online with an open licence so others can benefit from his
> researches. It's about how I'll get my cousin to write to her MP to demand
> access to public procurement information. And so on :)
> Thanks again for the thoughtful blogpost - it's only with feedback like
> this that we can learn and do better! Look forward to continuing these
> discussions - around branding and more.
> Best regards,
> Laura
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Heath Rezabek  //  labs.vessel.cc
Long Now Foundation (Intern)  //  Manual for Civilization Project  //
Icarus Interstellar  //  FarMaker Design Corps  //  icarusinterstellar.org
Open Knowledge Foundation  //  Texas Ambassador for the OKFn  //  okfn.org
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