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mobcasting the news:

crowdsourcing, volunteers & journalism

Andy Carvin
NPR Social Media Desk

acarvin@npr.org
andycarvin.com
twitter.com/acarvin
slides: scribd.com/acarvin
Wikipedia:
Crowdsourcing is a
What is neologism for the act
of taking a task
Crowdsourcing? traditionally performed
by an employee or
contractor, and
outsourcing it to an
undefined, generally
large group of people
or community in the
form of an open call.
Inviting the public to help
complete a task or solve a problem.
10+ million articles,
250+ languages
John Harrison and the Longitude Prize
John Harrison and the Longitude Prize

+
John Harrison and the Longitude Prize

+
John Harrison and the Longitude Prize

+ =
John Harrison and the Longitude Prize

+ =
Napoleon’s Race to the Can
Napoleon’s Race to the Can

+
Napoleon’s Race to the Can

Nicolas Appert
Napoleon’s Race to the Can

+ =

Nicolas Appert
Napoleon’s Race to the Can

+ =

Nicolas Appert
Napoleon’s Race to the Can

+ =
xprize.org
appsfordemocracy.org
it’s not always about the money.
kobe earthquake, 1995, by matsuoka yoshiaki.
donate blood
donate blood
donate money
donate blood
donate money
???
donate blood
donate money
donate information
9/11, by remko van dokkum
groups.yahoo.com/group/sept11info
donate blood
donate money
donate information
donate blood
donate money
donate information
donate computing power
donate blood
donate money
donate information
donate computing power
donate blood
donate money
donate information
donate computing power
donate skills
Amazon
Mechanical
Turk
(mturk.com)
50,000+ volunteers, 20,000 photos
50,000+ volunteers, 20,000 photos
Result? No Steve Fossett.
"The crowdsourcing thing added a level of complexity that
we didn't need, because 99.9999 percent of the people
who were doing it didn't have the faintest idea what they're
looking for….There may come a day when this technology
is capable of doing what it says it can deliver, but boy,
that's not now."

– Civil Air Patrol Major Cynthia Ryan,


quoted in Wired.com, 11/06/07
lesson learned?
lesson learned?

give people realistic tasks


they can accomplish
effectively and accurately.
crowdsourcing + journalism
publick
occurrences
both forreign
and domestick

Benjamin Harris, Publisher


September 1690, Boston
?
your
news
here
Your
news
here.
• GUARD ADAM THEM THEY AT WAYLAND BROWN FOR KISSING VENUS
CORRESPONDENTS AT NEPTUNE ARE OFF NELLY TURNING UP CAN
GET WHY DETAINED TRIBUNE AND TIMES RICHARDSON THE ARE
ASCERTAIN AND YOU FILLS BELLY THIS IF DETAINED PLEASE
ODOR OF LUDLOW COMMISSIONER

GUARD ADAM THEM THEY AT WAYLAND BROWN FOR


KISSING VENUS CORRESPONDENTS AT NEPTUNE ARE
OFF NELLY TURNING UP CAN GET WHY DETAINED
TRIBUNE AND TIMES RICHARDSON THE ARE
ASCERTAIN AND YOU FILLS BELLY THIS IF
DETAINED PLEASE ODOR OF LUDLOW COMMISSIONER
• GUARD ADAM THEM THEY AT WAYLAND BROWN FOR KISSING VENUS
CORRESPONDENTS AT NEPTUNE ARE OFF NELLY TURNING UP CAN
GET WHY DETAINED TRIBUNE AND TIMES RICHARDSON THE ARE
ASCERTAIN AND YOU FILLS BELLY THIS IF DETAINED PLEASE
ODOR OF LUDLOW COMMISSIONER

FOR COLONEL LUDLOW: RICHARDSON AND BROWN,


CORRESPONDENTS OF THE TRIBUNE, CAPTURED AT
VICKSBURG, ARE DETAINED AT RICHMOND. PLEASE
ASCERTAIN WHY THEY ARE DETAINED AND GET THEM
OFF IF YOU CAN.
THE PRESIDENT.
traffic.
weather.
recipes.
consumer complaints.
letters to the editor.
what about breaking news?
the zapruder film.
rodney king beating, by george holliday.
Hudson River plane crash rescue, by Janis Krums.
boxing day tsunami, by david rydevik.
tsunamihelp.blogspot.com
mobile phones
mobile phones
+
smart mobs
mobile phones
+
smart mobs
+
podcasting
mobile phones
+
smart mobs
+
podcasting
=
mobcasting
nycgates.blogspot.com
hurricane katrina, by rose vines
katrina05.blogspot.com
hurricane gustav, by au_tiger
hurricanes08.org
hurricanewiki.org
Erica O’Grady, Texas Caucus, 3/4/08
Plodting the debates.
npr.org/votereport
votereport.us/reports/map
votereport.us/reports/map
inaugurationreport.com
votereport.in
what’s next?
Swiftapp.org
Swiftapp.org
Google Translator Toolkit
theextraordinaries.org
mps-expenses.guardian.co.uk
mps-expenses.guardian.co.uk
donate blood
donate money
donate information
donate computing power
donate skills
a culture of participation
thank you

Andy Carvin
NPR Social Media Desk
acarvin@npr.org
andycarvin.com
twitter.com/acarvin
slides: scribd.com/acarvin