I'm a big fan of James Surowiecki’s "Wisdom of Crowds
", and I also like Read/Write web's blog
... So, when the latter posted about the former's theories you can just imagine my delight.
The post ("Crowdsourcing: A Million Heads is Better than One
") reviews several concepts/site and provides some advice for approaching crowd-sourced projects.
1. Crowds should operate within constraints. To harness the collective intelligence of crowds, there need to be rules in place to maintain order.
/>2. Not everything can be democratic. Sometimes a decision needs to be made, and having a core team (or single person) make the ultimate decision can provide the guidance necessary to get things done and prevent crazy ideas and groupthink from wreaking havoc on your product.
3. Crowds must retain their individuality. Encourage your group to disagree, and try not to let any members of the group disproportionately influence the rest.
4. Crowds are better at vetting content than creating it. It is important to note that in most of the above projects, the group merely votes on the final product; they do not actually create it (even at Cambrian House, where the group collaborates to create the product, individuals are still creating each piece on their own and the group votes on whose implementation of an idea is best).
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Friday, March 23, 2007