Grants/Stories of Creating Commonly
Describe the project you are proposing as clearly as possible in just five sentences.
We propose to conduct organizational reviews of culture producing institutions that have partnered with or produced Creative Commons (CC) licensed materials to better understand the process that potential and future artists and organizations may follow. Because CC is still very much an emergent paradigm there are many potential users who may not know exactly how to approach business partners, colleagues, or potential funding sources in a way that will encourage them to support a CC licensed product. By studying the paths that other groups and individuals have taken we hope to produce a guide that can offer a number of viable blueprints for future projects based off of the lessons learned by past projects.
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).
This project has two important outcomes: the data and the analysis. Our intention is to make both freely available to any and all interested parties so that our methods will be open to all and any follow up research will have an excellent starting point. We will license the data and our write-up with Creative Commons non-commercial, attribution, and share-alike ownership.
The data portion of this project will consist of interviews and organizational observations of the participating groups and individuals. Once collected, these data will be coded for similarities in approaches to producing CC licensed materials. Both the raw data and the coded segments will be made available to any interested parties and our intention is to post both to our website for comment and use.
The analysis portion will produce both a white paper drawing conclusions from the analysis and also a guide for potential CC content producers that will attempt to offer step by step or best practices for getting their CC content made and distributed.
Describe the community you are targeting. How would the project benefit the community?
Our beneficiaries with this project will be content producers who are considering releasing content under a CC license. This will benefit these people and groups by providing a potential blueprint, or at the very least a collection of accounts, for how others have gone about producing similar content.
Additionally this project could be of use to existing producers of CC content by contributing to a greater understanding of the processes that others have gone through in bringing their work to fruition.br />
We are part of a 501(c)(3) (approval pending) nonprofit chartered for educational purposes. Our core mission is to conduct research and educate the public on issues of sustainable communities, open access to knowledge, and informed consumption of goods and services both tangible and virtual.
Our mission of providing open access to knowledge and informed consumption have lead us to become advocates of Creative Commons style production and practices.
We have over 20 years of combined research experience in both quantitative and qualitative research methods in our areas of emphasis, which include information technologies, social networks, and complex organizations.
How will you measure and evaluate your project’s impact - on your main participants? Other contributors? On the larger community?
The simplest measure will be the amount of traffic generated as we make the data and the final product available. Because we are also part of a wider community of non-profits and academic institutions, as well as fellow CC enthusiasts, we will also send out occasional notification to these groups to make sure they are aware of the ongoing progress of the project.
How many participants do you expect to be involved in your project? How will you seek and sustain their involvement?
This project will involve the primary research team at the Chimaera Institute as well as any willing participants who wish to share their experiences. All members of the team have experience with government mandated human subjects protocols and intend to maintain this high level of ehtics throughout.
For participants our hope is that they can enrich their own creative commons experiences though the accounts offered by others and by giving their own accounts so that others may follow in their footsteps. Additionally we are open to collaboration and assistance from any interested parties who feel they have something to add to the project.
Describe how your project will benefit Creative Commons' mission to increase the amount of creativity (cultural, educational, and scientific content) in "the commons".
The end product will hopefully lower the barriers for future CC licensed projects and products and will spur more people to opt to use CC to release their work. In this way it should increase all three types of creativity among “the commons”.
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 plan on using interview and participant observation techniques to collect and code the data. Several of the researchers have extensive training in these methods and years of experience collecting and coding field data. In terms of technical needs most of this type of work can be done with nothing more than notebooks and pens, though some interviews may be recorded if the subjects are willing to make transcription and coding easier. The coding process will likely use either a pre-existing coding program or one custom made for the project.
What challenges do you expect to face, and how do you plan to overcome them?
We expect that the biggest challenge will be one of access to the people who have already engaged in CC licensed projects. It is our hope that CC will provide some assistance in tracking down initial subjects. If not, we do have some personal contacts within relevant organizations and we can likely snowball out from these data points to additional ones, but this may slow down the progress of the project.
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 have every intention to continue this project after the initial funding has expired. As part of our stated mission we want to investigate how people are using open source and creative commons type of publishing and production regimes to share their creations with the world. We are also committed to seeing these practices spread more widely and would like to continue to do work that investigates the best ways of doing this.
How can this project be scalable, or have a scalable impact?
While we see this project reflecting a first cut it is important to realize that it is just that, a first cut. As creative commons practices become more widespread and accepted we can expect that the norms for their usage will continue to evolve. While we see this project as creating an important first step into how this is done it is only a first step and we want to continue to study this in a longitudinal manner.
What resources and support do you expect Creative Commons to provide to your project to ensure its success (if any)?
Our hope is that Creative Commons will provide some funds to pay for the work of the field workers and the coding, both of which are time and expertise intensive. Additionally, we hope that Creative Commons will be willing to give us some access to their extensive contacts with other CC endeavors so that we have copious data sources.
Describe how your organization currently communicates with its community members and network partners. (100 words)
Currently we maintain an email list for interested parties and our board members. We are in the process of building our website and are looking at a late summer launch for it. We are also actively engaged in the professional communities of our interest and are regular attendees at professional conferences and seminars.