Crowd Bombing

October 26, 2006

Paylancers has an interesting post about an NYTimes article discussing Google bombing in the US elections. By encouraging bloggers to link to negative articles about a candidate, they trick Google into displaying this as a relevant result.

While gaming the system and Google bombing is frowned upon it is certainly not beyond the power of the crowd.


YouTube – Built On Crowdsourcing

October 17, 2006

Steve Rubel at MicroPersuasion urges creative companies to embrace creative crowdsourcing as a way of giving customers what they want.

He also credits the success of YouTube and it’s acqusition, to crowdsourcing:

Crowdsourcing is one reason YouTube was such an attractive acquisition for Google. Marketers by the boatload are rushing to launch campaigns where consumers, not the advertising agency alone, determine what goes into a television ad. The TV nets have been at it even longer. Reality television and text-message voting for American Idol are at their heart, crowdsourcing.

Google’s Gophers

September 18, 2006

The BBC asks are you Google’s Gopher? when discussing the Google Image Labeler.

Bionic Software

September 6, 2006

There has been a huge amount of attention on the Google Image Labeler.

Tim O’Reilly has previously described this as bionic software. This relates to humans being required to complete some computational tasks.

Luis von Ahn who created the ESPGame recently spoke on Human Computation discussing the massive potential for this. The presentation is very watchable and presents some great statistics:

In 2003, 9 billion hours were spent playing solitaire. By comparison, it took only 7 million human hours to build the Empire State Building, and only 20 million human hours to build the Panama Canal.

Again, Tim O’Reilly has written up the details of the presentation.

There is also a demo of Peekaboom during the presentation. This is a similar idea but has a reveal feature which allows them to gather more information about which parts of the image more more important.

All these sites/games are great examples of how to encourge humans to collaborate on tasks which are simple ofr humans but complex for computers.