Some ramblings on crowdsourcing

Two more examples of crowdsourcing approaches.

I’ve spoken quite a bit about innovation related communities and ecologies over the last months. One component that is needed to make innovations successful, is the ability to try and predict the future. Some predictions are described as scenarios and others can come from communities where the whole world participate in submitting predictions. The community, What the future holds plays to your need to leave a legacy where people in the future will see that you were able to predict the future.

Nostradamical: predict, publish, play “Essentially Nostradamical is a fun approach to a serious topic: The ability of ‘the crowd’ to predict events with better overall success than ‘the individual’.” The focus is on getting social communities to share information about the future. They are also working on a prediction engine that uses the data from the community to intelligently make predictions.

I find this particularly interesting as most of our clients would benefit from this approach when collecting complaints, recommendations, ideas, compliments, etc from their clients, staff, etc. We are entering an era where the classical MIS (management information system) approach is just not going to cut it. Real-time information is needed as crowds share ideas, change behaviours and shift markets. Integrating financial information from your bank, with tax information from the local authority, vehicle information from your car, mobile behavior from your cellphone, E-mail information from your E-mail provider, social information from your Facebook and Linkedin accounts… And, once integrated, you should be able to have recommendations made as to when to phone, where to drive, and what to do next for optimal performance. Is this taking it too far?

Here is another example, and something more practical…
We are embarking on a rethink of our brand, something that happens periodically. LogoTournament is a crowdsource based community where designers from all over the world can design logo’s for companies. It will cost you anything from about $250 to $5000 depending on the level of response required. So, why would you do this? The old way was to give your favorite agency a detailed brief, let them come up with something, and then you select an item. This is costly and everytime you want to change something it costs you money.

To crowdsource your design you need to provide the same kind of brief, and in some cases more detailed. You set the price tag and off you go. Designers from all over the world then submit their designs in pursuit of the relatively small fee for the design. Ranking systems are used to determine the kind of designs you like and don’t like. All of this happens interactively with a design community obsessed with making a name for themselves.