Crowdsourcing: individual vs. public consumption
September 26, 2009, 8:29 pm
Filed under: Collaboration, mentoring, Web 2.0 | Tags: , , , , ,

A well-crowdsourced effort, for all I know, is applied towards projects that lend themselves to public consumption. Wikipedia is a project, like the public library, that exists in the first place only because of the benefits it can offer at the community level. A thesis project or dissertation, on the other hand, while arguably benefiting all of humanity in rare cases, exists mainly to gratify the author, and maybe a few related others.

This means that crowdsourcing, as it has been practiced, occurs only when collaborative inputs are assembled primarily for the purpose of public consumption. This leads me to my question: can or will be there be collaborative projects designed to primarily benefit individuals before publics? This could hypothetically entail crowdsourced psychotherapy services for the highly personalized needs of individuals. Imagine crowds of helpers processing highly personal histories that can lead the group to offering crowdsourced feedback back to the individual. It would be economically feasible if these producers within the crowd were to be subdivided into smaller taskforces and monetarily incented. There are already signs that it may be possible to funnel the work of crowds into the pinpointed needs of individuals. Please let me know if you can think of any other projects similar in spirit.

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