Nathan Yergler [mozilladrumbeat]

[this was originally published on the Mozilla Drumbeat Festival blog]

Nathan Yergler is the Chief Technology Officer at Creative Commons and is another person attending and contributing to both the Open Education Conference and the Drumbeat Festival (as well as hopefully sneaking in a trip to the Picasso Museum!)

Nathan was kind enough to let me pick his brains a bit in advance of the Festival.

Much of the focus of Nathan’s work right now is taking the lessons the Creative Commons learned around the search & discovery of openly licensed content and their success in encouraging Google, Yahoo etc to support those options and applying them where possible to the similar issues around discovery of open education resources(OERs).

He is particularly inspired at the moment by the potential for the remix and reuse of OERs something that is high on the agenda throughout the activities at the Festival;

“Right now we’re seeing lots of people publish OER and educational materials, but it’s not clear that we’re getting this cycle of reuse and remix that would really scale the impact. So I think that this potential is the most exciting thing, and I’m really interested in figuring out what the bottlenecks are and how we can eliminate them.”

Nathan will be contributing to the Open Content Studio at the Festival where there will be an opportunity to further explore these ideas.

A strong supporter of open and linked data it has been a real highlight of his time at Creative Commons to not only see this approach grow in acceptance with the major commercial search providers but also seeing a growing movement where people are genuinely getting excited about the possibilities (as Nathan admits this isn’t something he expected to see six years ago when CC started experimenting with the approach!)

As to what the ‘open web’ means to Nathan – well I’ll let him speak for himself;

“An “open web” is one where anyone can build tools and applications for any user to use, where the protocols and specs are freely available and unencumbered by software patents.”

The full Q&A with Nathan is available at http://backpass.org/2010/10/05/q-and-a-with-nathan-yergler/