Open Data and Share Knowledge with the World

Thanks to the unlimited potential of internet to share data, we can talk about open access even without knowing who to share. In other words, it’s possible to have people at any age, anywhere on our planet to get our data and create some unique work.

How do we pass on knowledge before? We need to establish a school, hire teachers, call for students from neighbourhood and manage daily operation of education organization. This is still the best solution to help student handle knowledge and skills firmly and become professional in certain area. Although online chatting tools are quite flexible to let us send message to friends, communication is much more effective when people meet in person and get response immediately. I should say that if the deadline is coming, off-line collaborative job comes in the first place.

In concerns of long-term non-commercial project with no stress, if’s a smart idea to put it online and open to every visitor. No matter for crowdsourcing, expecting comments and feedback, self-promotion or other reason, it’s always good to have the fundamental part built.

In this case, our free time can be invested as cognitive surplus, defined by Clay Shirky in his TED talk (Clay Shirky, 2010). It’s product of our spare brain cycles, and shared by digital technology to increase collaboration across the globe. The good point of doing this is set the data free, and encourage whoever feel interested in it to join your project.

It’s easy to put a file online, either through google drive or leave a link for downloading. But that doesn’t make sense if you need further collaborative work done. It’s extremely important to make it simple for participants to contribute. Lots of tools are designed to help with that, such as HTML, XML, Database, Git, Teambition. We standardise the way of writing, version control, project management and build wheels for our digital tribes.

It’s a sweet dream to have data accessible, re-usable without asking anyone for permission. And the dream is gradually coming true.



Shirky, C. (2010). Clay Shirky: How cognitive surplus will change the world. TED.

Retrieved from


Also thanks to a tutorial written by Timothy McAdoo, I learnt How to Cite a TED Talk in APA Style from it.