Monday, March 31, 2014

Crowdsourcing: The Wisdom of the Masses

The topic of this week's readings is collaborative content producers. One aspect of this is the phenomenon known as "crowdsourcing." This has applications beyond the information profession. In the video below, it gives a brief overview of some of the ways in which crowdsourcing has been successfully used by various institutions. For example, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) outsourced the task of measuring the size of craters on Mars, allowing amateur astronomers to submit their work in exchange for being associated with NASA. Linux is another example of crowdsourcing success. It was developed by volunteer programmers and is now one of the dominant computer operating systems. There are many serious, legitimate concerns about collaborative content production, but clearly there are instances when it can be immensely beneficial.

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