Topic 5: Sharing Knowledge Openly Online

Nowadays, most people understand that the internet is revolutionary as it decreases the need for space, facilitating the death of geography (although disputed)

Nowhere is this more apparent than with knowledge. But, is sharing knowledge as content openly and freely online beneficial or harmful to the sharer?

Open access involves the following:

Open Access

^(Photo sourced from here)

Education is all about sharing your knowledge with others so they can develop theirs. Through the interactions of this module I’ve learnt just as much as about each Topic than I had from my own research.  You can learn much more efficiently and innovatively in networks!

cloud just a though t5

Piled Higher and Deeper (2012) explore the restricting price of journals and thus the inability of researchers to share their knowledge and contribute to each other’s work.

Open access then, lets researchers contribute to a discussion, complementing and developing their knowledge together. Similarly, OER bridges education gaps, using the internet as a tool of empowerment, providing high-quality content at low prices.

topic 5 quotes

^(Quotes from here, infographic mine)

It can revolutionise learning! Just take a look at this TedTalk video about the Khan Academy, and some key quotes from the video below (infographic mine):

t5 quotes 2 redone

Despite this, many choose not to share their content openly online as payment and recognition is not guaranteed.

Sharing knowledge through news stories for free can often be problematic, with the diminishing paid print readership and advertising revenue resulting in some companies switching to online paywalls; its estimated that over 90% of online content will follow this pattern in the coming years. 

would you pay...

Whilst many say they wouldn’t swap to paid news (infographic mine, stats sourced from here), this paywall method has worked in some cases; The Times have reported record subscribers whilst the Guardian recently made £68.7 million in losses even with 155 million browsers, hence the ask for donations (screenshot by me).


This can be beneficial for readers too, as charging for content generates funds to reinvest into journalism, with loyal subscribers expecting high quality content.

quotes 3rd

^ (infographic mine, left quote from here, right from here)

We have too much content out there with ‘recommendations’ becoming a desire by many to cut through the abundance of sources. The need to create compelling news stories has arguably lead to a lost faith in the media and the rise of  fake news.

declining trust 1declining trust 2

^(infographic mine, stats from here)

Similarly, if your content is your business or selling point, openness can give away valuable ideas to rivals or let your readers gain insight without recognition! Here are some tips on how to give away content successfully for free, which often involves holding other content back:

Final summary prezi here:


Word count: 440


Burrell, I. (2016). The Times editor John Witherow on how its paywall is paying off – and why he thinks the Guardian will now follow its lead. [online] The Drum. Available at: [Accessed 6 May 2017].

CMRC (2011). Canadian Consumers Unwilling to Pay for News Online. Canadian Media Research Consortium. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 May 2017].

Durden, T. (2017). Visualizing The Fake News Problem. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 May 2017].

Khan Academy (2011). Salman Khan talk at TED 2011. Available at: [Accessed 6 May 2017].

Melaugh, S. (2016). Why Giving Away Your Valuable Content For Free Can Seriously Hurt Your Business. [online] ActiveGrowth. Available at: [Accessed 6 May 2017].

Mitchell, B. (2017). Poynter’s Bill Mitchell on paywalls – how to shape the paid experience. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 May 2017].

Morgan, K. (2004). The exaggerated death of geography: learning, proximity and territorial innovation systems. Journal of Economic Geography, 4(1), pp.3-21.

Pierce, D. (2016). We’re drowning in content. Recommendations are what we need. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 May 2017].

Piled Higher and Deeper (2012). Open Access Explained!. Available at: [Accessed 6 May 2017].

Stephen Lepitak (2013). 90% of online content to be held behind paywalls in three years media company survey suggests. [online] The Drum. Available at: [Accessed 6 May 2017].

Wiley, D., Green, C. and Soares, L. (2012). Dramatically Bringing Down the Cost of Education with OER. Center for American Progress. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 May 2017].



5 thoughts on “Topic 5: Sharing Knowledge Openly Online

  1. Hi Scott,

    I really enjoyed reading your post as well as, viewing all the infographics you have produced. In regard to your first question: I believe that research produced paid for by the tax payer should be freely available online. By restricting access to those who are paying for its production you are more likely to cause discontent for the expenditure, which may lead to future payment cuts. What are your thoughts on this?

    Also, I do agree with the studies that you have included in your research. I too am not willing to pay to continue to read from a news source. Additionally, as I have become more aware of local and international issues there are a few mass news sources that I do not trust and therefore will never read. What are your thoughts on this?

    Thank you,


    Word Count: 141


  2. Hi Mary!

    I appreciate the comment and feedback! I wanted to make good use of the infographics this week instead of flooding them with words so used them to highlight key points or quotes, and summarise with a prezi rather than add in new content – so I”m glad you’ve picked up on it!

    I agree with your response to the first q – it does seem unfair and discriminatory to make the taxpayer, or everyone, pay for content and research production, but then limit who can have access to it. Surely this will keep knowledge and money in the same circles rather than allowing those interested in broadening their educational horizon to do so (without paying loads of money first!)

    Secondly, I would agree with you to a certain extent. I would definitely not pay for breaking news / day to day essential stories that don’t require a lot of money to report on – say the BBC. However, through the research here, I would be inclined to say that I would be willing to pay a subscription fee for high quality specialised content or journalism, such as that of The Guardian, understanding a lot of money and work go into producing their content. Although, this would be a low single digit fee!

    Any new thoughts after our discussion?
    Many thanks,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s