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  • Everything!

About this page

This is a proposal for the first ever open source PR project. It is the brainchild of Elizabeth Albrycht, who is interested in gathering data and testing theories of the New PR.

Open Source Philosophy

Some interesting points to inspire us, from this essay by Azeem Azhar:

Yochai Benkler, a law professor at Yale University, has called this "commons-based peer production." ... Benkler calls this a third mode of production for the market, distinct from the company and the "spot market" (or, in employment terms, the freelancer). Open source shows that it is possible for part of the economy to function without companies but with many self-employed individuals contracting with each other.

Wikipedia has no controls. Anyone can visit the site and create or edit an entry. You might think this is a recipe for mayhem. In fact, it provides for an open peer review of every article.

Open source has at least three benefits for conventional enterprises. First, it creates new wealth and new businesses, such as the Linux-based consultancy Red Hat, which now has an annual turnover of $100m. Second, it stops companies reinventing the wheel in areas of open source research, and thus releases time and money for more fruitful activity. Third, open source's decentralised methods may, as we have seen, produce results otherwise unobtainable.


  • Will we need a formal business/corporate structure to do this?
  • We will want to charge back expenses (or better yet have the organization billed directly). If we cover expenses initially, will it be as New PR or as one of our own companies?
  • Do we need a contract for legal indemnification?
  • Do we need the volunteer organization to sign an agreement (I'd say yes). What would this agreement look like?
  • How do we keep track of time spent? Time sheets? Weekly reports here on the wiki?
  • How do we enforce accountability? If you promise to deliver something, that promise is public. Do we have a "sign up" sheet for tasks?
  • Wouldn't it be cool if through this project we created a Wikipedia-like global press/analyst/influencer encyclopedia with contact information, biographies, links to recent articles, contact notes? Then we wouldn't need to pay thousands of dollars a year for access to specialized databases, a real challenge for independent PR people. And journalists and analysts could add their own information too!
  • Do we need a formal application form for potential adoptees?
  • What should remain secret? Anything?
  • What should be the timing to make our decision on what organization to adopt?
    • (Frank Ruscica, 7/4/04): IMHO, TheNewPR? group should assign primacy to making this determination, as would-be candidate companies need to know whether your time frame suits their particulars.
    • I'd like to propose we make a decision by the end of July.


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Page last modified on July 06, 2004, at 08:40 UTC