Thursday 01 September 2011

The Wisdom Of Crowdsourcing

In social media, crowdsourcing has become a common and accepted practice to elicit ideas and feedbacks from the public-at-large online. The anonymity and accessibility of the internet have removed many barriers that would otherwise prevent this mass collaboration. In crowdsourcing, an inquiry is broadcast to an open community of participants (known as the crowd) who are tasked to respond back with information. Although the term crowdsourcing was first coined in only 2006, the first practice of crowdsourcing likely occurred centuries earlier. In the 19th century, the Oxford English Dictionary leveraged the public’s help to index all words in the English language by accepting submissions from volunteering contributors. In 2009, DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) sponsored a competition in which teams were encouraged to leverage crowdsourcing in order to be the first one to locate a set of geomarkers that were previously hidden across the United States. Regardless of the medium wherein such practice is being used, the success of crowdsourcing depends entirely on the good will of the community and the motivation of its participants to contribute to the greater good of the crowd. Without this collective wisdom, crowdsourcing yields merely an incoherent collection of noise that is neither informative nor illuminating.

By Philip Jong • At 12:01 AM • Under Column • Under Tech • Under World
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