I'm thinking how sites like Stack Overflow offer their complete data as a dump for anyone to use how they see fit, within the bounds of the creative commons license http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2009/06/stack-overflow-creative-commons-data-dump/
I really like Richard's idea (and Stack Overflow's stated ambitions and intentions).
So for me it would certainly be a plus if it were possible to have all the posts here in Moodle be CC-licensed. I guess because there is ownership of the course/site that should be possible. After that it is indeed important to offer the data of the posts in some format that makes sense for people to use.
During our session on Friday, the question of privacy and research came up. I stated that, given the conversation is on the open web, course participants should expect some sort of analysis to be conducted based on social networks/language/conceptual development, etc. The individual that does the analysis (especially if intended for publication) should clear ethics within her institution.
A CC license on content is a bit different, as the intent of CC licensing is to permit reuse and sharing. Reusing/sharing vs. analyzing is a small, but I think important, distinction.
The interesting thing would be if at the end of the course there was a data file maybe broken up into resources, posts (from here), blog posts (scraped from the netvibes), links (scraped from delicious and diigo) - probably in xml.
Not sure that anyone would do anything with it but at the very least it would be a nice precedent?
As for the data set, I think there will always be somebody that can run some analysis about the type of comments, activity, resources that users touched. It would be a great bootstrapping process for the learning analytics community, right?