Forget Open Source, how about Open Information?

Obercom is the Portuguese Observatory for the Media. And altough they have produced some great studies on the subject, their most recent flashreport leaves a lot to be desired.

The problem is not just the way the terms “Blogger-producer” and “Blogger-consumer” are used, leaving an immense grey area. It’s mostly having a report published in 2008 with data from 2006.

Obercom left this report in the dark for two years. A lot changed since then of course. Enough to make this report useless by now, unless you are mapping the evolution of the web over a long period.

But allow me to broaden the scope and ask: How ethical is it for a research organization to keep information inaccessible?

Enter Open Information

If there are API (Application Programming Interface) built for services like twitter, why not build an interface for researchers to access raw data and publish their conclusions?

This would just mean having extra care not to divulge private information of people who participate in the research. And the questionnaires already reflect that concern by not asking for a name or any information that might lead to a possible identification.

Still, there is ethical ground to uncover here, but I think that it’s something worth considering.

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