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Are Google and Facebook the biggest Open Research platforms?

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Why Google and Facebook are the biggest Open Research platforms?

When thinking about open research one might look primary at Universities: MIT, Standford, Cambridge,  Oxford, CBS and many other top universities worldwide. When looking at open research one can have a look at sophisticated innovative platforms getting real time data using very advanced software.

But after some time thinking one understands that the largest direct research and marketing platforms in the world are software companies, websites and social media platforms. Indeed, the most important research and data can now be found in massive platforms such as the search engine  Google; the multiple product platform that recently embarked into social media as well. Also, not forgetting  the massive Social media platform – Facebook. If you have some doubts I will try to explain why I have this conclusion.

Defining Open research

Defining Open research as an activity conducted in the spirit of free and open source software brings us to the idea of looking at both platforms in which most of the data is based. When not based there the data somehow is agregated and united there. Much like open source schemes that are built around a source code that is made public. Both Google and Facebook are at the moment matrix places and destinies for where the main drivers for research somehow can be found and data mined.

Having considered that the central theme of open research is to make clear accounts of the methodology freely available via the web, and online devices along with, any data or results extracted or derived from them of course one needs to bare in mind these two platforms as the main central platforms of research. Looking at these platforms as  matrix places of research that permit a massively distributed collaboration, and one in which anyone may participate at any level of a research project.

Dramatic and broad technological and economic shift in which software is keyto research and business

At present the world is in the middle of a dramatic and broad technological and economic shift where software companies, namelly web based or somehow powered by social technologies and venture international capital are poised to take over large sections of the economy. This creates new oportunities and challenges for old business models and changes the way research has been conducted. In this landscape the paper of research is still in its premium form based in Universities, research centers and scholar organisations of course. However the shift is that these places and the premium global centers for research have to look at the real time data of search engines and the social media web to be on the top of what are the trends and new developments. It is in here that Open research is taking its place and becoming the only way to go in parallel with ways of looking into change management and open business. Also it is here that Facebook and Google have been increasingly being part of the picture. But we can add as well other online critical tools for Open Research: Wikipedia, Amazon, LinkedIn, Slideshare, Twitter, Apple iTunes and Apps, open source tools and so forth.

A blurred world where economy works in parallel with crisis innovation: Open Research is  the new driver

Major businesses and industries are increasingly being run on as online services based on software. Most industries are shifting to this format: from entertainment, agriculture,  national organisations such as finance and banking to defense or any other area that can vary from B2B to B2C. Many of the winners in this new blurred world where economy works in parallel with crisis, innovation and research are somehow Silicon Valley-style entrepreneurial technology companies that are invading and overturning established industry structures. Over the next years many more industries will be disrupted by fast research and new developments in software, online services, social business trends and data. It is in here that Open reserach can have and needs to be present as a driver of accelaration for knowledge learning and map new trends, oportunites and solutions to problems and issues.

Over two billion people now use the broadband Internet, up from perhaps 50 million a decade ago. Facebook reach is getting close to one billion users and it is expected at least five billion people worldwide to own smartphones; giving every individual with such a phone instant access to the full power of the Internet and Google hegemonic search results (and also Baidu and Yandex) every moment of every day.

On the back end Open Research needs to aim at making the world of information, knowledge and science more visible and accessible pooling together pieces of information from multiple platforms namelly Google and Facebook that constitute a vast knowledge base about who we all are, and what moves the world forward.

Maria Fonseca
Maria Fonseca is the Editor and Infographic Artist for IntelligentHQ. She is also a thought leader writing about social innovation, sharing economy, social business, and the commons. Aside her work for IntelligentHQ, Maria Fonseca is a visual artist and filmmaker that has exhibited widely in international events such as Manifesta 5, Sao Paulo Biennial, Photo Espana, Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Joshibi University and many others. She concluded her PhD on essayistic filmmaking , taken at University of Westminster in London and is preparing her post doc that will explore the links between creativity and the sharing economy.

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