SXSW Interactive 2009 Day Two Takeaways: Curating the Crowd-sourced World
My notes on Curating the Crowd-sourced World aren’t as in-depth as others I’ve taken. The panelists, by and large, came from the arts, so I’m trying to apply what they discussed to my world (focusing more on education). Here are my takeaways, this time in bullet form for convenience:
- Crowd-sourcing helps reduce the divide set up by the "old guard"-slash-elites.
- Use the crowd to get out of the bubble and influence your ideas. find others who will profit by helping you pursue your interests. Engage with that community to find out what they want.
- Gina Trapani of Lifehacker fame noted that passionate audience can yield an "echo chamber" in which everyone is just agreeing--if you ask the crowd "what's good" you can end up with mediocre results.
- The role of the curator (expert) is to inspire the crowd, not necessarily dictate it. A good curator doesn't let the crowd push him around, though--as in an open source software project, any project is only as good as its leader/curator/expert.
- Understand social media by participating in it. Best takeaway from this session, though it's not exclusive to crowd-sourcing.
- Tools are not as important to crowd-sourcing, as is location--know where to watch to find out what your audience is interested in. Sometimes your questions get answered without you specifically asking. (It seems to me that you'll get more genuine answers this way, too, when people don't know they're on the spot.) You may need to teach the crowd how to give a meaningful response, a la the "teach a man to fish" parable.
- One audience member suggested a weighting system that balances the crowd's responses to those of experts. If crowd-sourcing is to be used in our world (SIM) this will probably need to happen.