Understanding Your Value from Another's Perspective

It's silly to complain when others find value in your work, isn't it? After all, isn't that what we're all about? I always enjoy learning how others have taken something I've written or created, shared online via Creative Commons NonCommercial-Sharealike-Attribution and then sold access to the content. It tells me they knew how to extract financial value out of something I made for fun. Ok, maybe that's a little sarcastic...and no one is perfect, as I reveal in this blog entry.
Image Source: http://goo.gl/WLlCpS

Still, when other educators take work I've done, remix or share it with others, that clues me into the value. Unfortunately, I almost have to "snoop" incoming links to find out if other people see something I've done as valuable--I usually do it when I'm procrastinating about something. One of the troubles I've had recently (last few years actually) is figuring out what's valuable work and what isn't. I'm not sure how I lost my perspective on this. That's why incoming links provide some insights into what others see as valuable.

There is so much rich, valuable content available online, the main differentiator (sp?) isn't content but style and the angle with which you approach a topic. We're all at the nexus of a variety of fantastic stuff--which as Vicki "CoolCat Teacher" Davis found out recently--puts each of us at risk for using, or "stealing" the same stuff, even unintentionally. It's all a big remix playground. The value is in how you package it, and remix it to be useful for those you serve.

For example, one of the incoming links to my blog includes one from this organization:

EdTech Leaders Online has taken one of my links--BYOD Criteria for Implementation--and is using it as part of their BYOT module:

It's so nice to see how others are taking advantage of resources available. They are even charging money for that:


Under the following terms:

  • Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
  • NonCommercial — You may not use the material for commercial purposes.
  • ShareAlike — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.
So, while I do welcome others using materials, I wish they would share them the way I shared them originally or as close to that as possible.

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


Unknown said…
My name is Edna Montgomery. I am a student in EDM310 at the University of Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. The using of others information is what we are learning in depth as we research then record the information. Cite where your information is coming from, if it is not your own, is the first rule we are being taught.
JeanTower said…
Your post leaves me wondering about a few cases. If a professor uses a post of yours in a course s/he teaches, how would that fit your framework? The students pay to take the course, the professor gets paid to teach it. What are your expectations in that case? I ask because I do ask students to read material from several blogs.
@Jean - I don't have any objections to educational uses of my work--any and/or all of it. I just don't want someone repackaging it for sale, making it unavailable through any other links on their site (so it can't be found unless you have the direct link).

My goal is to share for free, no cost usage. It's been pointed out that the NC clause is probably too much and I may need to switch to a more "GPL-like" license (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/fdl.html#TOC1). I'm conflicted about this and have been for awhile, as you can see if you read this blog entry then consider my latest post: http://www.edsupport.cc/mguhlin/tblog/2006/12/entry_2422.htm

In the end, I'd rather share my content freely with the intent that it be used by other educators for noncommercial purposes, that they share it with others as I have shared it with them, and provide attribution.
@Edna - I agree with the lesson of attribution, but what happens when you start creating work that others want to use as the basis for something they want to sell to others?

It's a tough question that I'm wrestling with, and I know others do as well. What is YOUR perspective and your class' perspective?

With appreciation,

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