101: Crowdsourcing vs Wisdom of the Crowd


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A very basic overview of the ideas of crowdsourcing vs wisdom of the crowds.

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  • The work of experts can be combined with crowdsourcing to achieve better results. Timelypick uses expert curators for curating highly-shared popular content from the web together with crowdsourcing for choosing which articles should be the most popular now. To learn more visit: timelypick.com and watch the introduction video (or presentation).
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  • 101: Crowdsourcing vs Wisdom of the Crowd

    1. 1. crowdsourcing vs wisdom of the crowd (aka swarm intelligence, collective intelligence)
    2. 2. Crowdsourcing: “Crowdsourcing is the act of taking a job traditionally performed by a designated agent (usually an employee) and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people in the form of an open call.” Jeff Howe, WIRED, June 2006
    3. 3. Wisdom of the Crowd: the process of taking into account the collective opinion of a group of individuals rather than a single expert to answer a question. phrased by James Surowiecki (2004)
    4. 4. both:
    5. 5. are phenomena of people working together through the web
    6. 6. turn consumers into producers
    7. 7. can work anonymously (need no recognized authorship, but it helps)
    8. 8. So what’s the difference?
    9. 9. crowdsourcing can enable wisdom of the crowd (but doesn’t have to)
    10. 10. “Help me sell photos!”
    11. 11. Crowdsourcing • is a process • goal: distributing workload from one to many individuals • derives meaning from implicit behavior (“I’m bookmarking this for myself, but others can use it”) • fairly simple (& pretty dumb)
    12. 12. Crowdsourcing examples • social bookmarking (del.icio.us) • Amazon Mechanical Turk • (viral) marketing
    13. 13. Crowdsourcing looks like
    14. 14. Problems? • quality control • needs critical mass • motivation • ownership & authorship • ethics and economics (unpaid labor, anyone?)
    15. 15. Wisdom of the crowd • is a goal (rather than process) • aims at less, but better output • aggregates individual knowledge • diamond in the rough (find the smartest bits) • four-eyes principle (find the errors)
    16. 16. Wisdom of the crowd • smarter, tougher (needs community, moderation) • needs explicit action (“Let’s solve this problem together”)
    17. 17. 4 Key conditions • Diversity of opinion (each person should have private information, at least opinion) • Independence (individuals’ opinions mustn’t be determined by those around them) • Decentralization (people are able to specialize and draw on local knowledge) • Aggregation (mechanism to turn individual judgement into collective decisions) Source: James Surowiecki, The Wisdom of Crowds
    18. 18. Wisdom of the crowd examples • Wikipedia • Yahoo Answers • Who Wants To Be A Millionaire audience poll
    19. 19. WotC looks like
    20. 20. Problems? • quality control • critical mass • vandalism • hidden agendas • ownership & authorship
    21. 21. Questions? (now would be a good time to ask them)
    22. 22. Thanks! More questions? Peter Bihr peter@thewavingcat.com twitter.com/thewavingcat