Grants/Local Wiki Creative Commons Education
Describe the project you are proposing as clearly as possible in just five sentences.
This project is a series of in-person workshops designed to introduce and accustom local community members to Creative Commons licensing in the context of a local community wiki. This project will complement the LocalWiki project (http://localwiki.org), an effort to bring a new form of collaborative media to local communities, funded in part by the Knight Foundation as part of the Knight News Challenge.
For each of the 10 expected pilot communities of the LocalWiki project, we will hold 2 one-hour, on-site sessions teaching members of the community about the issues surrounding the licensing of content on their local wiki. The sessions will focus on explaining what CC licensing is, demonstrating what it means in the context of our local wiki projects, and training community members to use and contribute to CC-licensed content. The initial workshop session in each pilot community will be held at start of each respective local wiki project and target those unfamiliar with CC licensing, while the follow-up session several weeks later will go into more detail and explore each community's specific experience with CC licensing.
Detail the tangible project output (e.g., paper, blog post, written materials, video/film, etc.; this would be in addition to the final written report that successful grant recipients will be expected to deliver to CC at the conclusion of the project).
The tangible output will include a total of 20 workshop sessions, supporting educational and promotional materials, blog posts describing the events and project in general, and a public online repository of all educational materials.
The 20 one-hour workshop sessions as well as the supporting presentation slides, handouts, and pamphlets will build on the vast resources already available on Creative Commons but will be customized to focus on the specific needs each geographic community.
The online repository will present all of our educational materials as well as best practices and lessons learned during this project in a coherent, organized format.
Describe the community you are targeting. How would the project benefit the community?
In our experiences with our Creative Commons licensed Davis Wiki (http://daviswiki.org) project, licensing issues are one of the most confusing aspects of contributing to a local wiki project. This confusion presents a tremendous educational opportunity.
Our workshop sessions will target members of the pilot communities of our LocalWiki project, including local journalists, artists, business owners, community organizers, and other interested participants. Our educational online repository will target members of the pilot communities, future LocalWiki communities, as well as similar projects not affiliated with LocalWiki. Our blog will target the general public in order to create interest in CC licensing and promote the pilot projects and their use of CC.
In the near term, our project will benefit the pilot communities by familiarizing members of the community with CC licensing and showing how it helps foster a sense of collective community ownership, good will, and encourages widespread participation and creativity. By informing members of our pilot communities, we will help ensure their proper use of content licenses, increase their engagement with their local wiki project, and resolve any questions or misconceptions about copyright and content licensing that may hinder their contribution and participation. This will drive the creation of unique local content that will sustain the growth of the pilot local wiki projects.
In the longer term, the availability of educational materials on CC for local communities, as well as the support of and positive examples set by the established pilot communities, will inspire the creation of new community projects and will lead to more open, engaged, and informed communities.br />
In 2004 we created the Davis Wiki, an experimental project to collect and share interesting information about the town of Davis, California, editable by anyone, that soon became the world's largest and most vibrant community wiki – and now the biggest media source in the city. In a week, nearly half of Davis residents use the wiki, and in a month nearly everyone does. But the Davis Wiki is not a passive medium – 1 in 7 residents contribute material to the wiki, making the project the most active Creative Commons project at the local level.
Our LocalWiki project, an effort to bring the benefits of collaborative, community-owned media to more communities, was recently awarded a grant by the Knight Foundation as part of its Knight News Challenge contest. This grant will fund the creation of the next generation of wiki software just for local communities. With the Catalyst Grant we have a unique opportunity to educate local communities about one of the most confusing aspects of collaborative media: licensing.
How will you measure and evaluate your project’s impact - on your main participants? Other contributors? On the larger community?
We will measure our project's impact on the participants by how many individuals sign up for our workshops, how much those individuals contribute to their pilot community project, whether those individuals demonstrate proper use of CC licenses and are able to teach others, and the growth of CC-licensed content in our pilot communities.
We will measure our project's impact on the larger community by the number of visitors to our blog and educational site, outside interest in our pilot communities, use of our educational materials by other organizations and projects.
How many participants do you expect to be involved in your project? How will you seek and sustain their involvement?
We expect 20-40 workshop participants per pilot community, for a total of 200-400 participants over the course of the project. We expect most of these participants to go out and teach more community members about Creative Commons licensing.
To sustain involvement of interested community members, we will tailor the content of our sessions to the specific geographic communities as well as the specific interests and needs of individuals, based on an initial questionnaire and additional questions and concerns raised during the sessions. For instance, we'll discuss issues like fair use and the local newspaper, or explain how specific local blogs can use material contributed to the local wiki.
Describe how your project will benefit Creative Commons' mission to increase the amount of creativity (cultural, educational, and scientific content) in "the commons".
With the Davis Wiki, we have seen the tremendous amount of creativity contributed by a local community that is given the right tools, support, and examples for creating unique and interesting content. The residents of Davis use the wiki for everything from sharing local news and helping preserve local history to cataloging vegan dining options, and even entirely unforeseen uses such as a shared “wish list” for the town or a page that helps return lost pets to their owners.
Residents of Davis have created a vast, creative, amazing resource with information about nearly every aspect of life in the city – and that resource is, in its entirety, Creative Commons licensed. We expect to see a similar level of creative contributions and innovation from our pilot communities.
Describe what technologies and tools your project will use. What kinds of technical skills and expertise do you bring to the project? What are your technical needs?
We are experienced software developers, and we are comfortable using and customizing existing software as well as creating new software to fit our needs. Aside from creating the wiki platform, which is covered by the Knight News Challenge grant, the technical needs of this project are minimal. They include setting up a blog and repository for collecting our educational materials.
What challenges do you expect to face, and how do you plan to overcome them?
The biggest challenge we face is getting a core group of people excited about going to a workshop on Creative Commons licensing. We believe that by framing the discussion around relevant and practical local examples – and promoting the event through existing local media – we can get people excited about something that might otherwise seem too technical or obtuse.
How do you plan to sustain your project after the Creative Commons funding has ended? Detail specific plans. How do you plan to raise revenue to continue your efforts in the future?
We envision ongoing Creative Commons education and outreach to happen on a volunteer basis. The Catalyst grant will fund the vital initial bootstrapping of educational material and informing of pilot communities. After several successful pilot communities are well established there will be a wide, diverse base of individuals and communities well versed in licensing issues at the local level that future projects can draw on.
How can this project be scalable, or have a scalable impact?
Scalability is central to our overall LocalWiki project, which is designed to encourage new pilot communities to build on the experience of previous projects by sharing the core software, drawing on the expertise in successful pilot projects, and following documented best practices regarding content building and community organizing.
Likewise, this Catalyst Grant project will make educational materials available to a much larger audience than the initial set of direct participants and will empower participants to share the knowledge they acquire within their communities and beyond.
Because the kind of collaborative local media that our local wiki projects represent is so new, we initial, modest funding of educational efforts around Creative Commons licensing will have a tremendous impact. Once the idea of local, collaborative media is more well-known, such directly-funded approaches won't be necessary.
What resources and support do you expect Creative Commons to provide to your project to ensure its success (if any)?
We don't require any direct support from the Creative Commons organization.
Describe how your organization currently communicates with its community members and network partners. (100 words)
As the LocalWiki project has not initially started (and will not begin in full-force until September of 2010), we can't provide current details.
With the Davis Wiki, we communicate with community members primarily through the wiki itself. With the LocalWiki effort we plan to maintain a mailing list and have a vast knowledge base wiki.