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A demo of something that's not crowd sourcing

Sunday, July 13, 2008 by Dave Winer.

To Jay Rosen, here's an example of two people collaborating to make an interesting story that neither of us would likely make on our own. Notice that nothing like "crowd sourcing" is taking place. Permalink to this paragraph

When I was flying back from NY last Wednesday, the plane was equipped with a live Google Maps display so I could see in advance that our path was likely to take us over Denver, so I prepared, and took several pictures as we passed over the south side of the city. When I got home I uploaded one of the pics to Flickr along with several others. Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named denver.jpg Permalink to this paragraph

Then, unexpectedly, yesterday, a person named Paul Wicks added an interesting caption to my picture in a comment. I learned a lot about what I had flown over. Permalink to this paragraph

See, we're not acting as a crowd -- we're acting as two curious strangers from (presumably) fairly diverse backgrounds (I have no way of knowing) whose paths crossed and were able to make an intellectual exchange thanks to a collaborative service. No one made any money off it, but something good happened anyway. Permalink to this paragraph

For another example, see my piece earlier today asking people for their experiences with foreclosures locally. When it's "done" if it ever is, I'd say it'll be as good as any story written for a national newspaper on how the foreclosure crisis is hitting the average American. In one way it's better -- no one edited the sources' words, we're getting it straight, no "telephone game" errors introduced (which is why sources say they never are quoted accurately in the press, something reporters always deny, funny how that is). Permalink to this paragraph

Update: A podcast to go with this post. Permalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

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