After many years of blogging, and consistent with my desire to move toward retirement, we have ended the Insights blog. Thanks to Doug Bedell for his years of blog support.

‘Crowdsourcing’ – the New, Bigger Water Cooler

Posted on August 28, 2011
Filed Under Technology, The Writing Life | Leave a Comment

Infographics take specialized skill to design and execute, but when they’re done well, are they helpful! Here’s an example from The Content Wrangler site: an infographic on crowdsourcing.

This visual display amounts to a short course on a fascinating Web technique: How to amass and gain from the insight of hordes of people you’ll never meet, except by way of their chattering keyboards – your colleagues “in the cloud.”

Crowdsourcing can be accomplished through social networking (I’m building a social networking site myself – details when launched), making use of your e-mail list, Twitter, Facebook or other social networking sites, and no doubt other streams.

You put out a question, problem or possibility that’s effectively explained or displayed, and wait for the reactions to flow in.

You’ve got to be busy establishing a Web identity before you seek to use crowdsourcing, for you need to have a crowd in which you’re known. Or maybe, if you do it well, total strangers will respond. The Web’s reach is truly amazing.

“Mass collaboration” is, indeed, another term for crowdsourcing. Remember how we used to walk around the office asking for input or insight from our immediate “water cooler” colleagues? We can still do that, of course. But now our reach can be extended much farther – without the immediacy of real people, true,  but with the benefit of real intellects in any event.

Consider what you’d like to ask your “crowd” if you had one available, then go about creating one. It may take some time, but great, insightful benefits await. – Doug Bedell


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