Crowdsourcing is fundamental, especially when you’ve got all the necessary tools scattered around you for FREE. Well to an extent, because you still have to buy the appliances and pay for the Wi-Fi network. My point is that we can do so much with crowdsourcing even if we’re miles apart. It allows for the intersection of ideas, information and creativity with the contribution of a multicultural community working actively online.
I recently watched a TED video hosted by Michael Nielsen and he talked about Open Science and this idea of crowdsourcing allowing for greater ideas. This related a lot to our course of the Open Innovator, and I even understood more about what an open innovator is; this notion of using technology i.e. social networks and crowdsourcing to come up with innovative ideas during and post our IDE course.
I’ve hit on this topic in my previous blog where I talked about the Egyptian revolution on the 25th of January, 2011 and how it affected my thoughts towards technology. I’d like to use the concept we learned in class of the three strands; Me: the Individual, We: Communities and Many: Network. It was obvious that the individual in this case was every Egyptian citizen who had emotions and an idea of wanting to change things. That’s when we, the communities were created by many Egyptian citizens having that same idea and were sharing thoughts by making relationships through groups with the intention of making a change using the power of a community. Finally the main network which was Facebook, allowed for the transfer of ideas on the social platform and even Levy’s theory of reciprocal apprenticeship had a big impact, as sharing had to be mutual.
I had mentioned a lot on my experience with technology in my previous blog about the fact that I like to keep a low profile, thus I don’t make use of online spaces to have a personal identity, but to solely talk to my friends and family and to research basically everything. I think what I personally loved about all those social networks was how they allowed us to communicate with each other. However, I only used them to talk to people I knew in person and so I never made new friends on the online space, because I didn’t like that idea of meeting people I’ve never seen face to face. At the same time, I was also very specific with which networks I used, thus I stuck to the networks that were only for communicating such as Skype and MSN, unlike Facebook which gave room for personal identity and sharing ideas and interests.
On the other hand, I also use online spaces to harvest information, because as stated in my previous blog, I love researching for everything; whether it is work-related or not. In my case, I didn’t use Facebook to get my information, since I didn’t have it for around 3 years. I instead used Google and it has, is, and will always be the best source of information! (After books, of course!)
Nevertheless, I started realising that I was missing out on many groups that traded information and ideas. Those groups were also there to raise awareness of social issues like child abduction where Joseph Kony was the alleged criminal. I then started to realise this sense of crowdsourcing naturally evolving to create awareness amid our society of this crime. This for example is something I definitely wish I had been an active member of as well as with other groups, especially the ones that had great motifs for a better world, because great power comes from large communities!
So, I have noticed that people interact with global issues and ideas faster and easier through networks and that it does make connections easier. Now that I am in the IDE Facebook group I have to say that it is without doubt easier to interact with others and share ideas as well as interests. Right now this is considered the only group that I am part of as well as the Project Community group and it has proven to be a great way of communicating about specified related topics.
Up until now I can comfortably say that being on social networks is a great way of communicating. I still find it easier for me to be part of tools that are specifically for communicating such as WhatsApp and Skype, but then again you can still form groups on those tools. However, crowdsourcing is very important as well, and I see this in our IDE group when we share ideas, notices and even just questions if we’re struggling.
To wrap this up, I think that being part of the social network is vital nowadays, because it allows for communication, crowdsourcing and simply this idea of unity through all those individuals who are active online. I did at first only harvest information and chat online, but I think social networks like Facebook and Twitter allow for sharing ideas as well as interacting with people around the world. Even though I prefer WhatsApp and direct chatting tools, I still like and have to adapt to being part of online groups, because in this technological world we live in today, online crowdsourcing is fundamental and definitely inevitable for great accomplishments and this is something that our group should focus on for our NGO.