These slides are part of a collaborative panel session with Beth Kanter, Dave Neff,
Holly Ross and Kari Dunn Saratovsky for SXSW Interactive 2010.
Review the case studies at:
For the Social Media for Social Good competition, we followed these basic rules: Allow submissions based on a form to create consistency on all case studies entered Provide just over a month for submission period Allowed the crowd to use a 1-5 ranking system for voting on favorites Have our panel (Beth, Dave, Holly, Kari and myself) to select final winners
Now to discuss crowdsourcing! Not as an advocate for paper waste or recycling, though
For me, the two biggest reasons to include crowdsourcing in your strategic design of community building or contests are:Crowdsourcing invites diversity by encouraging anyone with an idea or interest to participateCrowdsourcing levels the playing field so it isn’t just your “favorites” or those you already know that get to play
For the most part, I agree with the way the crowds voted – but, given that people were able to submit and vote at the same time, it means some groups only submitted on the very last day, not leaving much time for votes. There are also two major issues that groups need to consider when using the wisdom of the crowd voting approach:Crowds are susceptible to encouragement/asks/campaigning – meaning, a group that enters and has LOTS of followers or active community members can send out an appeal for people to vote and get a big response; some say this is just playing the game.Criteria is really important to consider: the crowds voting = who do you want to win this; the hosts/judges/experts voting = quality, value, innovation or alignment with competition/organizational goals
I think the most important part of designing a competition that leverages crowdsourcing is to strike a balance between too many voices, and too few. I think you create balance by focusing the competition on the stages of:Open door policy for contributing/submittingPublic voting processPublic’s favorites put to expert judges for final selectionA process like this can ensure that lots of different ideas are included but that the competition can stay true to it’s purpose or the goals of the sponsoring organization. For example, if the crowd voted in huge numbers on a submission that didn’t necessarily fit the criteria, it doesn’t mean it should win.
The most important way to use social media in a crowdsourced process is to allow the community to use social media anyway they want! Using tools that allow reposting, sharing, emailing and so on will give anyone the options they want to push your content around the web for you.
Convincing your executive team to use crowdsourcing shouldn’t take bribery. There are lots of examples of projects that use crowdsourcing, even this one! Their hesitancy may come from not knowing what crowdsourcing means or how it works: so show them examples, but also show how the project you are working on could benefit from crowdsourcing and how the elements of crowdsourcing align with your project goals.
Sometimes what you want to do and the tools at your disposal just don’t match. Sometimes that means crowdsourcing. It isn’t right for every project or process. Especially when you need things to be very specific or follow tight criteria, you are working very quickly or flexibly where communication with the crowd could be difficult or time consuming (or even confusing), and when you already know what you want (be honest).
Now to discuss social media in program delivery using examples from our case study collection created through the Social Media for Social Good contest.
The Seattle Free School is a really interesting case study for a number of reasons:Social media is integral to the success of the program because it is online but it is also the mechanism for growth and community buildingCollaboration via social media has enabled the program to come together and launchSocial media tools allowed for distribution of roles/responsibilities across the community (including garnering press coverage)
There are many ways to include social media in your work. But within the scope of crowdsourcing, there is still a range for how you can use the elements of crowdsourcing and social media tools. Three specific examples that are very different include:Connectipedia: a wiki-based platform that allows anyone interested in philanthropy or social impact in the Pacific Northwest (or beyond) to share research, resources, information, or data about people, places and topics. The value of the tool grows as people value the tool and add more content. The crowd decides and creates everything that it is.Ushahidi: most recently, Ushahidiadpated it’s platform for use in Haiti and Chili to let the crowd both in Haiti/Chili and outside share information and data in real time via mobiles or a web browser.Nature Conservancy’s photo contests: The crowd, in this case it’s one that loves nature photos, shares the pictures they love about nature and in the process grow their community. The contest attracts lots of participants and generates great content for the organization – but more importantly provides an engaging space for the community.
How do you measure success or social change?http://amysampleward.org/2009/03/02/five-steps-to-finding-roi/
How do you keep supporters engaged in creating change over the long haul? This is something that the 350.org campaign has done really well. The basics include:Show impact in real timeCreate opportunities for iterations and involvement by communityEmbrace storytelling
What is your top take away from this discussion? Can you share it as a tweet? To continue connecting and discussing these ideas, I’m at: twitter, email, blog, etc.