Open Science * Dark Data

Reading on the bus…a fascinating article by Thomas Goetz in the latest Wired on Dark data.

So what happens to all the research that doesn’t yield a dramatic outcome — or, worse, the opposite of what researchers had hoped? It ends up stuffed in some lab drawer. The result is a vast body of squandered knowledge that represents a waste of resources and a drag on scientific progress. This information — call it dark data — must be set free.

The article sites the Public Library of Science and their mission of “making the world’s scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource”, which totally exemplifies the concept of the New Alexandrians. Who knows what unasked and unanswered problems this new type of collaborative innovation will shed light on.

Random idea for how to use this concept in business…Hey Warner Brothers and Dreamworks, I have a tip for you…think about (web) distribution of your Dark Dailies (i.e. the unused footage that stay on the editing floor). Think about it…all the FREE viral marketing, as well as relationship building with prosumers and potential new fans. Seriously, you have been offering “alternate endings” and unused footage on DVDs for years. Put this stuff in public hands…who knows what could happen?

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