[cc-education] Can we tag open content?

Steve Foerster steve at chrysology.com
Thu Dec 4 21:57:12 EST 2003

Stephen wrote:

<< [Locating open content materials] is key, since you can't simply 
browse hundreds of thousands of resources the way you can browse your 
hard drive (you can't even browse some hard drives any more, including 
mine). Thus, an effective search mechanism would be required. >>

One can browse the entire Internet as one would a hard drive using 
services like DMOZ and Yahoo!  If open content is categorized 
intelligently, I'd think it would be possible to make it all reasonably 
accessible by drill down.

Perhaps a useful approach would be to designate a set of meta tags that 
tag its document as open content and specifies which license applies to 
it?  If there also were a recognized categorization scheme that had its 
own meta tag, then robots could add open content to a directory.

Of course, this approach is HTML centric, but there could be allowances 
for PDFs, RTFs, Word documents, and other file formats that were 
available from a page with such tags.

<< The second part is a mechanism to preview items before inserting them
into your document. I don't know what to say about this, really. >>

Since I'm going meta tag crazy, I'll ask whether the description meta 
tag is useful here as a sort of thumbnail for text?  I guess it depends 
whether you're looking for a specific paragraph or a whole document.

<< The third part is the payoff. Once the user has reviewed the 
resource, she selects either all or part of it. The resource is then 
copied directly into the docuemnt in the appropriate format. For 
example, suppose the user found a text on owls, and located a paragraph 
worth quoting. She highlights the paragraph and then double-clicks 
(say). The paragraph is then copied into the document, and a tag or 
caption is placed into the document identifying the bibliographical 
information and the creative commons (or equivalent) license information 
(this latter is key for commercial users, who will not reuse content 
unless they are certain, and can prove, that they have permission to use 
the content). >>

I suppose the open content directory that uses a meta tag system could 
also generate code for use by those publishing modified documents.

"If you use this content in your document, you must add the following 
HTML code to your document's header:

<meta etc />
<meta blah />"

This is an off the cuff suggestion, so shoot it down, people. :)


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