History Commons

This project is run by the Center for Grassroots Oversight … (also named on educate-yourself.org, on altacocker.com, and on inezha.com, … see more on Google Web-search).

The History Commons contains summaries of 13,845 events, which are published on the website in the format of dynamic timelines. These timelines can be filtered by investigative project, topic, or entity (e.g., a person, organization, or corporation). You can even generate a “scalable context” timeline for any event in the History Commons database simply by clicking the date of the timeline entry. You can search for events by using the search box at the top right-hand corner, or by browsing through the list of projects … (full text Homepage).

The History Common’s Blog;
Timelines; Forum; Development; Volunteer; Donate;
Contact.

About: The History Commons website is run by the Center for Grassroots Oversight (”CGO”), an organization that is fiscally sponsored by The Global Center, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. CGO was incorporated as a public benefit corporation in late 2006, and is currently applying for its own 501(c)3 status …

… What is the purpose and significance of this website?

To provide a means for members of civil society to monitor the activities of powerful entities, such as governments, large corporations, and wealthy and influential individuals. In this capacity, the website should be regarded as an IT toolset that enables members of the public to operate as a sort of people’s intelligence agency. To initiate an investigation of a certain issue, entity, or event, a user first creates a timeline project. The user then becomes the project manager of that project and begins adding events, entities, and relationships. The data is displayed as a chronology. Project managers can define an unlimited number of category sets and categories that s/he can use to classify the events. This gives the data some structure and makes it more readable for visitors.

To further blur the line between readers and journalists. This website, like blogs and other applications that allow self-publishing, allows Big Media’s former audience to assume the roles of content creators, editors, and publishers.

To increase the efficiency of information production. This project is premised on the notion that collaboration in a networked “open-content” environment can greatly improve the efficiency and quality of information production in the public sphere as it allows contributors to build upon and improve the work of others in real time as part of a global community. This arrangement allows the production of information to take place at a level of efficiency comparable – if not superior – to that of the capital-intensive efforts of hierarchically structured private enterprises. The Center believes this improved efficiency is socially significant because products resulting from this system of production are inherently more democratic than those of the private sector since they are created by a much broader spectrum of interests and perspectives.

To increase the efficiency of information acquisition. Another objective of the Center is to increase the efficiency of research by reducing the tendency for researchers to duplicate the efforts of others. All too often, researchers – largely because of a fragmented historical record – needlessly spend a significant amount of time and energy bringing material together and identifying relationships, even though this work may have already been done by someone else. By collecting a mass of extensively cited data, this website should reduce the frequency of duplicated efforts.

To reduce the fragmentation of the historical record. This project seeks to help reduce the fragmentation of the historical record by connecting events whose temporal and spatial relationships are often obscured by a mass of contradicting and disconnected literature, the biases of the media, and the tendency for important past events to be relegated to the annals of forgotten history. By reducing the fragmentation of the historical record, this project hopes to reduce the amount of time it takes for the public to acquire a full and coherent picture of an event or issue.

To create a “history commons.” All the data in the History Commons database will be exportable into XML so it can be used by other individuals and groups for non-commercial purposes. As such the historical data collected by contributors and stored in the History Commons database will serve as a sort of commons for historical data.

… (full long text).

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