Crowdsourcing: Ordinary is the new extraordinary

So, when was the last time you rejected a person’s advice judging her by her average intelligence? Or you thought you might not be heard just because you don’t fall in the intellectual category?

Well, times are changing are changing sure enough.

Arab populace thinks they deserve to be heard, suddenly there is something called as ‘media’ in China, Iranian public wants democracy, British youth want jobs, India thinks it can get rid of corruption –is this all because of internet & the accentuated freedom it has brought along? A common person yearns to be heard, she’s just coming out more aggressively than ever before.

Not all but let’s be honest – had it not been for internet (which has so far managed to stay ‘open’), we’d have been a much worse world.

Crowdsourcing is something that I believe will change our lives (like a lot of other things related to WWW that already have!)

  • Democratic journalism:

Twitter, the leader of Crowdsourced journalism has literally put traditional media biggies like NYT, WaPo out of business. On the other hand, the smarter newspaper media house like HuffPo has survived, wanna know why? Again, the answer is Crowdsourcing. Community journalism (As opined here) is the way to go & my favorite tech news source Techmeme.com is doing exactly that. Modern media is more open, more engaging, more accommodating & decentralized.

It might help places like India more where journalism is sold out to a few rich & is misguiding more often than not.

  • Distributed innovation & knowledge collaboration:

Wikipedia, Linux, OpenStreetMap, freelancer are amazing examples of people coming together to create a fabulous product/service with collective knowledge.

Hard to notice but for years, Google search was purely based on number of incoming links & page-clicks, another instance of Crowdsourcing. Even today, page visits & referrals constitute a major part of a page’s rank/popularity on all of the search engines.

  • Governance & protection:

Iceland has become the first nation to have crowdsourced its constitution while Microsoft has taken the lead in companies having joined pre-emptive patent protection program. There’s a lot more to come as governments/authorities/organizations across the world look to cut down on spending as well as to become more transparent.

From an industry perspective, Crowdsourcing is a great pie to eat. Organizations would love to have people working for them without having to pay.

However, there are challenges too –>

  • How to disseminate & utilize the information available without getting overwhelmed?

Quora’s anticipated PeopleRank Algorithm is a great example in this case. There’s a lot on how to garner the best piece of information with minimal noise.

  • Is crowd always intelligent?

No. But then, some of them must be. Wisdom of the crowd almost always works. Users’ participation in decision making will give them a sense of satisfaction & freedom, another plus!

Future beholds what none of us has seen but then, You & I now have the power of shaping it!🙂

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6 thoughts on “Crowdsourcing: Ordinary is the new extraordinary

  1. Jagannath says:

    1) CrowdSourcing is definitely good and that is pretty agreed upon by everyone.
    2) Quora’s algorithm I think is good but I dont think the service will survive.
    3) Why Techmeme for etch news dude, why not techcrunch or engadget or even reddit.

    -Jagannath

    Like

    • Thanks for the comment, Jagannath!

      1) You’re right – by all conventional means, Crowdsourcing looks great.
      I still feel there are areas where Crowdsourcing can’t be used as-is. We will see a lot of innovation in Crowdsourcing to make it better.

      2) Yes, I was talking about Quora’s algorithm only. The service is still in early stages & IMO, they have been overwhelmed with Silicon Valley’s expectations after a great start. I think they’ll be a great product in long run – Quora just needs to retain the early-adopting users they have right now.

      Allow me to direct you to this great set of suggestions for Quora – http://www.skepticgeek.com/socialweb/how-quora-can-avoid-becoming-a-popularity-contest/

      3) Techmeme is a tech news aggregator as opposed to TC or Engadget which are more of independent tech news websites. I used to use Reddit but then they lost my favors – poor design, less clear titles, cumbersome categories to walk through & lots of noise!!
      I recommend you Techmeme. Almost all the big tech brands, blogs have become Techmeme-conscious now.

      Yogesh

      Like

  2. Erica says:

    I agree. There’s an increased democracy in internet world – every person is more expressive online than probably anywhere else & if he deserves to be heard – he is heard!
    Another great social change inspired by Silicon Valley I’d say🙂

    Like

    • That is true, I just hope we (the world) don’t become too dependent on Silicon Valley for changes in the ways we live. Innovation needs to be distributed around the world, which it currently is not.

      I have been contemplating to write on online activism & how much it actually helps. Still researching & holding onto my thoughts – expect a blog on that, soon.

      Anyway, thanks for your comments Erica!

      Like

  3. Hi there. Yet another superb write-up, my partner and i really enjoy coming back here and checking many creative excerpts.

    Like

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