Crowdsourcing Brought to Book

After posting about the Why Are You Here Right Now videos on YouTube, I contacted Steve at Lifebushido for some more about He told me that the idea for the videos had come after receiving over 500 entries for a similar Mechanical Turk task for entries to the same question to be included in a book:

When is the book being released?

The book is an emerging effort which was released in late August, about 10 days after hundreds of people on Mturk wrote it. The draft ebook is available for free by sending an email to An improved version will be released on 9/15/2006 and sent to anyone who got first version. The formal publication of ebook and paperback version will be by 9/30/2006 with one-third of profits donated to kids of Katrina.

What is the plan for the YouTube videos?

No plan, it is just happening. After reading some written answers to “Why Are You Here – Right Now?” we thought it would be interesting to see some video answers from people around the world. Anyone is welcome and encouraged to do a quick video answer and post on with title containing book name and a tag of ‘lifebushido’ to make it easy to find.

Would this have been possible without Mechanical Turk?

Mturk was a critical part of this happening in an interesting way. The project could happen through other means. But, the aspect of hiring and paying hundreds of people to write a book would not have been possible without the extremely easy-to-use Mturk platform and Amazon-related payment system.

Which charity you are supporting?

The profit portion allocated to charity will support the kids of Katrina, perhaps through an extension of Project Backpack’s Holiday Gift Letter efforts with a timeframe of December 2006.

Why have you chosen the word “bushido” for your ventures?

There are many reasons – but no answers.


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