Stop Crowdsourcing? Remember, Remember the Fifth of November…

… because a man can fail. He can be caught. He can be killed and forgotten.
But four hundred years later an idea can still change the world. I’ve witnessed firsthand the power of ideas. I’ve seen people kill in the name of them; and die defending them. But you cannot kiss an idea, cannot touch it or hold it.
Ideas do not bleed, it cannot feel pain, and it does not love.
V for Vendetta, 2006

The power of crowdsourcing crisis information has little to do with the people behind Ushahidi. If individuals, communities, organizations want to crowdsource and access  information, they’ll find a way regardless of the challenges or the number of blog posts that try to stop them. Cynics warned that the  printing press and telephone would lead society to ruin. They failed to stem an idea more powerful than them. They’ll fail again. Information wants to be free, and people want the freedom to source and access this information. Increasingly, these people include grassroots activists, seasoned humanitarian professionals, students, established media groups, local organizations, volunteer networks and amateur professionals. Cynics will realize that their voices have long been drowned out by the voices of the many drawn by the power of an idea.

5 responses to “Stop Crowdsourcing? Remember, Remember the Fifth of November…

  1. Minion: “Look, look! The people are on the move!”
    Self-proclaimed social leader: “Quick, find out where they’re headed so I can lead them!”

    I’m thrilled by the fact of X-sourcing … the dynamism, the non-linearity, the sheer muscularity and vitality of it.
    But the efforts I’ve seen aimed at “facilitating and enabling” were usually, in effect (we’re post-modernists here, yes?) efforts to harness them in the name of benefiting a small core group’s fortunes.
    Is all.

  2. We need to take the structure here and make every person an accountable incident. Then we don’t need any other hierarchy.

  3. In a recent CSI: New York episode (Season 7, Episode 7, 34:20), the plot was resolved by a crowd-sourcing system. The stakes were high, the solution was elegant, and at the end I was left wondering why all towns don’t have such a simple and obvious crimefighting system. Made me think of a blog post I’d read recently about being drawn to the power of this idea.

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