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Design for Crowdsourcing
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Design for Crowdsourcing


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Presented Dec. 8 at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Australia.

Presented Dec. 8 at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Australia.

Published in: Education, Technology, Business
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  • 1. Design  for  crowdsourcing Recent  projects  at  the  New  York  Public  Library Presented  to  the  Powerhouse  Museum 8  December  2011 Michael  Lascarides Senior  Manager  for  Web  IniFaFves,  NYPL @mlascarides  /  @nypl michaellascarides@nypl.orgMonday, December 12, 2011
  • 2. Map  Warper 2009Monday, December 12, 2011[35:00]
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  • 10. (sadly,  not  easy)Monday, December 12, 2011
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  • 21. Gaze:eers  &  directoriesMonday, December 12, 2011
  • 22. Monday, December 12, 2011Most importantly, locational data is an important pivot point for a lot of otherprojects.
  • 23. What’s  On  The  Menu? 2011Monday, December 12, 201140:00
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  • 27. Buried  treasure   (literally)Monday, December 12, 2011
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  • 33. Consider  the  oyster…Monday, December 12, 2011
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  • 43. Monday, December 12, 2011Strangely enough, weʼve gotten a lot of attention for simply putting these canned searches here on theright.
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  • 49. Food  enthusiasts,  chefs,   librarians,  writers,   random  obsessives…  Monday, December 12, 2011
  • 50. Monday, December 12, 2011School for the deaf in Texas.
  • 51. Over  58,000  visitors  in  4.5  mos. 10,000+  menus  fully  transcribed 600,000+  dishes  transcribedMonday, December 12, 2011We could have done more but we ran out of digitizedmenus!
  • 52. Monday, December 12, 2011We could have done more but we ran out of digitizedmenus!
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  • 55. Next:  Linked  DataMonday, December 12, 2011
  • 56. Rules  for  good crowdsourcing  designMonday, December 12, 2011
  • 57. “Choose  your  parents  wisely”Monday, December 12, 2011Start with great rawmaterials!
  • 58. Engage  on  an  emoFonal  level   through  storiesMonday, December 12, 2011Expose the stories behind a collection, and make them relatable to users. Use feedback to create narratives (as in Old Weather, where every entry moves the ship along on a map).
  • 59. Appeal  to  the  user’s beer  natureMonday, December 12, 2011We have found that participation increases dramatically when we frame our calls for participation in terms of helping the library. Frame it the same way you would any other volunteer opportunity, evenif it’s one that only lasts 10 seconds.
  • 60. DemysFfy  the  purposeMonday, December 12, 2011People want to participate in projects they understand. Practice your “elevator pitch” for your project: describe it in the time it takes to go ten floors in an elevator with someone. People don’t get excitedabout typing, but they will get excited about participating in the building of an important historical research tool.
  • 61. Make  the  task   as  small  as  possibleMonday, December 12, 2011 This one can’t be stressed enough: pay extremely close attention to exactly what action you’re asking people to do, and make the task as discrete as possible. If the project involves transcribing apage of text, ask participants to transcribe a sentence, or a line, or even a single word. Complicated tasks with multiple steps run the risk of ending half-complete.
  • 62. Encourage  conFnuaFonMonday, December 12, 2011 Once the tasks are broken down into small enough pieces, completing one will feel like a bite-size morsel that leaves the participant wanting more. Thank the participant immediately for theircontribution, then immediately ask them to contribute a bit more.
  • 63. Lower  the  barriers  to   parFcipaFonMonday, December 12, 2011If at all possible, allow immediate and anonymous contribution. It can definitely be useful to get users to register and sign in, so that you can reward top participants and track participation. But a sign-up page can be a barrier that may discourage the casual participant. A far better approach is to allow immediate participation without registration, and passively communicate the benefits of signing upas the user proceeds.
  • 64. Encourage  a  feeling  of  shared   ownershipMonday, December 12, 2011While critics of Wikipedia claim that anyone can enter false or vandalizing information, it’s heartening that the converse is true: anyone can also correct and repair bad information. By allowing otherusers to proofread and correct what’s previously been entered, you give participants a sense of pride that this is their “neighborhood” and it should be looked after.
  • 65. Show  results  immediatelyMonday, December 12, 2011 This is another critical one. When you’re collecting input from participants, don’t send the fruits of their labor off to some unseen holding queue; instead, post the result proudly as completed. In our“What’s on the Menu?” project, every time a patron transcribes a dish off of a menu, the name of that dish becomes a clickable link leading to a page showing all menus where that dish appears andfacts about it (earliest and latest appearances, high and low prices, etc.). If the dish was incorrectly transcribed, it can always be corrected later. For us, it was far more important to treat the contributionas official the moment it was transcribed, allowing users to see their transcription become part of the research tool instantly.
  • 66. Place  the  project  in  contextMonday, December 12, 2011Don’t try to be the center of the universe; link to other reference sources. On the NYPL’s menu project, at the moment a new dish is transcribed, a page for that dish is created which in turn containslinks to canned searches on other sites from Google to MenuPages to the library catalog, encouraging immediate exploration elsewhere.
  • 67. Play  gamesMonday, December 12, 2011The short “participate, get feedback” cycle we’re describing here lends itself extremely well to game dynamics. If possible, keep score, and give top participants some sort of public recognition.
  • 68. Reward  effortMonday, December 12, 2011 If it’s possible to keep track of who’s participating, give rewards. Hold a special reception with refreshments in your library, and only give the invitation to online participants. If you’re not trackingthe identity of participants, make sure the messaging you display is loaded with gratitude.
  • 69. Report  resultsMonday, December 12, 2011Let users know how the project is progressing. If the goal is to transcribe a collection, show how many documents are in that collection, and how many have been completed. Show progress bars toindicate how far you’ve come and how far there is to go. If you’re using public participation to create a research tool, use a blog or social media to report how that research has been used by historians,authors or other researchers and ink to their work.
  • 70. Share  the  fruits  of  laborMonday, December 12, 2011 When content is publicly created, make the resulting product publicly available. If the goal is to create a database of some sort, make the entire database available for download, or expose data withan Application Programming Interface (API) and encourage anyone to create “mashups” of your data. Promote any works that people derive from your data on your site or blog, and encourage others todo the same.
  • 71. Build  a  communityMonday, December 12, 2011 Getting patrons involved in a project is an ideal opportunity to unite people with a common interest around your collections. Use social networks, a blog with comments, and/or an online forum tobuild a conversation with the people who are you top users. Listen to feedback, take suggestions, and point out interesting findings.
  • 72. Thank  you! Presented  to  the  Powerhouse  Museum 8  December  2011 Michael  Lascarides Senior  Manager  for  Web  IniFaFves,  NYPL @mlascarides  /  @nypl michaellascarides@nypl.orgMonday, December 12, 2011