March 10, 2017, by Stuart Moran

Digital Engagement (5): The Crowd and their Knowledge

The Crowd encompasses a range of different people with a wealth of experience, and this pool of experts are an untapped source of knowledge. Digital platforms can give them a voice and opportunity to share their ideas and solutions to complex problems. In fact, even the opinions across the entire crowd can be captured with feedback and recommendations on almost anything.

Lets explore some examples of how the crowd’s knowledge has been captured and used:

Crowd Opinions

My Madison  is an open platform for the co-creation of government policy. The crowd are presented with laws, and are able to write comments, annotate and interact with others as a part of the discussion of the law.

Participedia  is a catalogue of political processes around the world. The crowd are asked to discuss, edit and compare the processes to improve their quality and provide a centralised source of knowledge.

Crowd Ideas

Innocentive  seeks solutions to individual, departmental or company problems. The crowd are presented with the different challenges, and are offered monetary rewards for successful solutions.

Challenge.Gov provides a list of government related issues and challenges. The crowd are offered prizes, money and competitions to offer their ideas and solutions to the issues.

Crowd Expertise

We Farm  aims to provide a platform for farmers to share innovative and low-cost farming solutions. The crowd are ecnourage to ask their own quesitons and provide their own answers.

Crowd Med  a platform for health professionals and patients to exchange knowledge. The crowd submit their medical symptoms and offer a monetary reward to “medical detectives” who are able diagnose their conditions.

I really like the ability to seek feedback from the crowd on issues that affect them, but also giving them the opportunity to provide solutions not only to researchers but also to each other. Enabling experts to connect with those that need help can be a significant contribution to the community, and be an opportunity to facilitate research impact.

This concludes the Crowd Sourcing segment of this blog series, and through the numerous examples presented I hope to have demonstrated how this approach to digital engagement can help researchers to analyse and capture interesting sources of data.

If you would like to discuss the use of Crowd Sourcing in your research, please do get in touch with the Digital Research Team.

This blog is part of a series on Digital Engagement. Previous in series: The crowd and their resources. Next in series: Envisioning the future.

Stuart Moran, Digital Research Specialist for Social Sciences

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