Crowdsourcing Discussion at Wired in Second Life

Jeff Howe appeared at the virtual Wired office in Second Life to discuss crowdsourcing with Wired editor Chris Baker.

Without providing a transcript here, because it will be made available at the Wired Game Life blog, the items of the discussion which interested me were:

He feels that the definition of crowdsourcing has been discussed ad nauseum.

The purpose of the original Wired article wasn’t to put a word to the phenomenon. It was to identify the same underlying phenomenon in lots of varied places: photography, computer sciences, mountain bike design, shoe design, video entertainment.

“Second Life is just about the purest form of crowdsourcing.”

About Linden Labs: rather than get developers to create content they built the infrastructure and content creation tools. This plays to the nature of the Internet and people in general.

There is something inherently encouraging and beautiful about user generated content, it enables people to leverage their creativity in ways that previous generations could not. Crowdsourcing is not synonymous with user generated content, it’s a term applied to the model to exploit user creations and personally I don’t see anything wrong with that.

Morally, Linden do owe the community a great deal.

It’s incumbent on the crowdsourcee to figure out if they’re being exploited. If your user generated content is worth something, figure out how to sell it.

As the the class of content consumers gets larger so does the class of content creators.

Mechanical Turk never ever EVER have problems with tasks being fulfilled. This is the central mystery of crowdsourcing. One telling attribute is “at any given time, someone, somewhere is willing to do just about anything for some amount of money”. It’s just a matter of improving the network to facilitate the exchange.

A central assumption out there is that there’s money out there for people’s creative works.

Cambrian House has been smart in attracting crowdsourcees because they don’t make it seem like work.

And all that took about an hour to get through. And the first of it’s kind that I’ve attended in Second Life. It was a great way to take part in a ‘live’ event.

The topics discussed here will now no doubt be discussed ad nauseum here and in other blogs as we all continue the understand this emerging phenomenon.


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