Optimizing crowdsourcing websites for volunteer participation-Donelle-McKinley-NDF2012


Published on

The increasing number of crowdsourcing projects driven by established academic and cultural heritage institutions provides ample proof that crowdsourcing is rapidly becoming a mainstream approach for collection preservation, enhanced access, and research. The success of such projects relies on sufficient volunteer contributions over a period often limited by project budgets and resources. An understanding of website optimization can enable project teams to invite, instruct and incentivize ‘the crowd’ more effectively, and increase volunteer participation.

Website optimization involves clearly defining the objectives of the website and aligning them with the objectives of the online visitor. It aims to maximize visitor motivation and relevant incentives, and minimize sources of frustration and concern. Just as crowdsourcing isn’t a single strategy, website optimization takes many forms; factors commonly acknowledged as impacting on the online user experience are consistency, readability, website navigation, arrangement of page elements, language, visual appearance, and the number and complexity of processes required to complete the desired action.

With a view to informing the planning, development and evaluation of future projects, this paper aims to give project teams a deeper understanding of the main elements impacting on volunteer participation. It identifies a website optimization framework relevant to non-profit crowdsourcing, and demonstrates how it can be applied using the example of What’s on the Menu?, developed by New York Public Library. The website enables online volunteers to help transcribe the Library’s historical restaurant menu collection. Since April 2011 over 1, 00,000 dishes have been transcribed from over 15,000 menus.

Published in: Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total Views
On Slideshare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Optimizing crowdsourcing websites for volunteer participation-Donelle-McKinley-NDF2012

  1. 1. Optimizing crowdsourcing websitesfor volunteer participationDonelle McKinleyVictoria University of Wellington@donellemckinleywww.digitalglam.org
  2. 2. 50/50 Walker Art Center Ancient Lives University of Oxford CitizenArchivist National Archives Civil War Faces Library of Congress Click!Brooklyn Museum The Great War Archive Oxford University TheIndexerArchivesNZMap Rectifier New York Public Library Marine LivesOld Weather Prism University of Virginia Search the Collection Victoriaand Albert Museum Steve Social Tagging for Cultural CollectionsTranscribe Bentham University College London Trove National Libraryof Australia Reading Experience Database Open University UK UKSoundmap British Library What’s on the menu? New York PublicLibrary What’s the score at the Bodleian? Bodleian Libraries YourPaintings Tagger Public Catalogue Foundation & BBC Galaxy ZooDigitalkoot National Library of Finland Dickens Journals Online Universi
  3. 3. 5 main elements impacting on the process of achievingthe primary objective of a specific page or website:1. Value proposition (why the visitor should take action)2. Motivation (when the visitor will take action)3. Incentive to take action4. Friction elements of the process5. Anxiety about entering informationhttp://www.meclabs.com/methodology
  4. 4. Getting under the hood…Image: http://www.google.co.nz/analytics/
  5. 5. The opportunity before us, individually and collectively,is enormous; what we do with it will be determinedlargely by how well we are able to imagine and rewardpublic creativity, participation, and sharing.Shirky, C. (2010). Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age.New York: Penguin Press.Thank you!www.digitalglam.org